The “We R Who We R” singer has opened up about her experience in a candid, refreshingly honest essay for the August issue of Elle UK to address the rumors behind her stay, the details of her 2-month treatment and the pressure she faces in the industry — especially as a female pop star.
To begin, she tackles the most common misconception about her stay: that her hard-partying persona was the real reason for rehab. “I’ve written songs about partying, but my dirty little secret is that I’m actually incredibly responsible. I take my music and career very seriously, and certainly didn’t land in this situation from partying,” Kesha reveals.
The actual cause? Body issues — a struggle she’s already faced for years. “I’ve always tried to be a crusader for loving yourself, but I’d been finding it harder and harder to do personally,” she explains. “I felt like part of my job was to be as skinny as possible, and to make that happen, I had been abusing my body. I just wasn’t giving it the energy it needed to keep me healthy and strong.” Continue reading excerpts from Kesha’s essay after the jump.
After inking a record deal at 18 in 2005, Kesha briefly found a newfound confidence, and felt safer to act like herself. But underneath the rebellious persona, she was still dealing with intense insecurity, especially as a woman in the music industry: “I was wild, crazy and free. I talked about sex, about drinking. When men do that, it’s rock and roll, but when I did it, people assumed I was a train wreck. I played confident but still felt like an outcast,” she says. “The music industry has set unrealistic expectations for what a body is supposed to look like, and I started becoming overly critical of my own body because of that.”
Still, she continued to make music for herself as a pop star — and a role model to her faithful Animals: “I stood up for myself the only way I knew how: through my music, writing songs like ‘We R Who We R’, ‘Warrior’ and ‘Love Into The Light.’ At some point, though, those words didn’t ring true to me any more. I felt like a liar, telling people to love themselves as they are, while I was being hateful to myself and really hurting my body.”
By the end of last year, the insecurity became too much, and Kesha finally decided to do something about it: On January 2, she checked into the facility for “two months of alone time,” with no cameras or phones, waking up and working with fellow patients to work through her issues and traumatic experiences from the past. “I was there for two months in total, and during that time I began to feel a shift in my mentality and really started to understand my own self-worth…I could focus on my music and my happiness and not what I looked like,” she says.
She concludes with a hope that her story will inspire others to seek help who may need it, and by admitting something that the general public doesn’t often ‘get’ when it comes to mental health, especially in the public eye: A lone stint in rehab doesn’t just suddenly ‘fix’ an issue. “I’m not fully fixed – I am a person in progress, but I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” she admits, concluding: “Even I need to be reminded that we are who we are. And when I say that, I fucking mean it, now more than ever.”
We’re rooting for Kesha now more than ever, too.
Head over to ATRL to read the full scans from Ke$ha’s powerful, important piece.
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