Kesha, who is still legally attached to Dr. Luke, bless her, is returning to her roots musically and literally. We discussed her new country music and the fact that she is doing limited gigst. Because of her ongoing legal issues with Dr. Luke, there is much she can’t say about him. But we know that among the crimes she’s accused him of, he (allegedly) forced her to maintain a certain physique under his watch and shamed her if she didn’t adhere to his standards. Unfortunately, being shamed was not foreign to Kesha as she’d lived a lifetime of it even before she struck it big, which tragically led to an eating disorder. Once she’s found fame, the bullying increased ten-fold and tapped into all of her childhood insecurities. Kesha has conquered her ED, but still suffers from anxiety. She wrote an article for Teen Vogue describing what she’s suffered at the hands of anonymous keyboard critics.
I’ve been an outcast ever since I can remember. I grew up in Nashville, with a single mom who was oblivious to social norms. She encouraged me to make music, sew my own clothes, and express myself. She told me never to be ashamed of who I was. Other kids didn’t know what to make of me.
I was often bullied and shamed into hiding the things that made me unique. I remember hanging up the velvet pants I had made by hand and asking my mother to take me to the Gap to buy some “normal clothes” at one point. That experiment failed miserably. It just wasn’t me.
When I think about the kind of bullying I dealt with as a child and teen, it seems almost quaint compared with what goes on today. The amount of body-shaming and baseless slut-shaming online makes me sick. I know from personal experience how comments can mess up somebody’s self-confidence and sense of self-worth. I have felt so unlovable after reading cruel words written by strangers who don’t know a thing about me.
It became a vicious cycle: When I compared myself to others, I would read more mean comments, which only fed my anxiety and depression. Seeing paparazzi photos of myself and the accompanying catty commentary fueled my eating disorder. The sick irony was that when I was at some of the lowest points in my life, I kept hearing how much better I looked. I knew I was destroying my body with my eating disorder, but the message I was getting was that I was doing great.
In the past couple of years I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve realized that once you take the step to help yourself, you’re going to be so happy you did. Taking the time to work on yourself requires bravery. Trying to change your life based on other people’s thoughts can drive you crazy. You have to figure out what makes you feel good and what keeps you in a positive head space.
I don’t know about you but those first two paragraphs broke my heart. We, as a society, talk so much about creativity and individuality and yet so many of our actions combat that.
Kesha goes on to say that she has changed her relationship with social media. She pointed out that she loves it because it is how she talks to her fans but has started to take more breaks to reduce her anxiety. I’ve always admired Kesha’s resiliency. She has put up with so much bullsh-t and yet she doesn’t let the bastards get her down. Her return to Nashville allowed her to regroup. She’s been really smart about her reemergence to, both in the pace she’s taking to do it and by only parsing out small bits of herself at a time. She sounds in control of her destiny now and it gives me hope that she will not be taken advantage of again.
Photo credit: WENN Photos