Lauren Alaina has scored the first Top 5 hit of her career with her current single, “Road Less Traveled,” which is currently No. 4 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. The anthemic tune, which was penned by Lauren, Jesse Frasure and Meghan Trainor, was released in June and explores topics of self-acceptance—a message that’s especially personal to Lauren, 22, who has been in the spotlight since her teen years on American Idol and has dealt with bulimia, the divorce of her parents and online bullying.
Lauren spoke to Nash Country Daily about her sixth career single and why she won’t be bullied on social media ever again: “I’ve had quite the journey with insecurities and self-worth and self-acceptance,” said Lauren to NCD. “I think a lot of people have the same problem. I wanted to write a song that addresses that, because it’s a real thing. It can be really horrible if it’s severe. I struggled with an eating disorder for about five years, and so I was really sick. I had to get a lot of help and get better.”
As a teenager on American Idol in 2011, Lauren was thrust into the spotlight during a formative period in her life. An unfortunates side effect of her Idol notoriety came in the form of online bullying. “I am obsessed with social media,” said Lauren. “I love it. I will never bash it, but it was one of the biggest things that affected my health at that time [I had bulimia], because people are not always nice. They’re just not. Usually, that stems from their own insecurities and their own issues that they’re dealing with. Yeah, and they can say things, and they think you don’t read them. I think that honestly some of the things that are said aren’t meant to hurt your feelings. I think people put things on my pages, and they don’t think that I actually run those pages. I run all of my social media. Occasionally, my team will post for me, but they put on there that they’ve posted for me. That is really, really rare. I do all of it myself, so I see all the comments. When I was a 16-year-old girl, someone saying that ‘She looks fat in that dress’ as just a statement, they weren’t saying, ‘Lauren, you’re fat and ugly,’ but that’s what I heard when I saw that.
“Girls in high school and guys in high school who are being bullied online, and it’s just so easy for people to have access to that now. Social media is a beautiful thing if it’s used correctly, and it’s not always. I love it. I love the direct connection I have with my fans and how I get to share what I want to share of my life with them. They get to share with me as well. It’s a really cool thing, but it can be a bad thing as well. It’s like everything.” “Any kind of small comment, when you’re insecure about something, it’s a direct hit to that. I think that we all need to be more aware of that. I’ve learned to ignore it. I laugh at those things now, or I just delete them and move on.”