May 27, 2015
Kesha's Eating Disorder Battle
Kesha revealed the pressure of her career began to lead to an eating disorder. "I convinced myself that being sick, being skinny, was part of my job," the pop star writes.
“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs,” she recently told Vogue in an interview. “It’s been quite a journey. [With the criticism about my body], I went to a dark place.”
As a teenager with a budding pop career, Kesha sought to be different by talking about sex and drinking but felt that gender stereotypes led people to believe she was a "train wreck" rather than a rock & roll star. That's when she gave in to outside pressures.
"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," she wrote in Elle. "I felt like people were always lurking, trying to take pictures of me with the intention of putting them up online or printing them in magazines and making me look terrible. I became scared to go in public, or even use the Internet. I may have been paranoid but I also saw and heard enough hateful things to fuel that paranoia."
“Slowly but surely my self esteem [started to] deteriorate,” she told Vogue magazine. Although she knew that she was harming her body by not eating, she admits, “The worse it got, the more positive feedback I was getting. Inside I was really unhappy, but outside, people were like, ‘Wow, you look great.’”
"I had been abusing my body," she wrote. "I just wasn't giving it the energy it needed to keep me healthy and strong." “There was a lot of not eating – and I started to think being hungry to the point of feeling almost faint was a positive thing."
Her mother told People.com that she watched her beautiful, self-confident, brilliant daughter be berated and ridiculed for her looks and weight to the point that she almost died. "The doctors told me her blood pressure and sodium levels were so low, they'd never seen it that low except with someone who'd had a heart attack or stroke. They said it was a miracle she hadn't already dropped dead on stage."
Shocking stories emerged of Kesha's management pressuring the star to immediately lose weight. Her mother recalled her manager saying, "You need to lose weight! I don't care what you do... Take drugs, not eat, stick your finger down your throat."
Although Kesha wrote songs like "We R Who We R" and "Warrior" that told people to love themselves, she felt like a phony. “I wanted to be genuine. But I was sad.” Upon finding the courage to accept that fact, the singer wrote that she decided to practice what she preaches.
I called my mom one night and I told her, ‘I need help.’ I went to an eating-disorder specific rehab site where a nutritionist taught me that food is a positive thing for your body,” she said. “I realized being healthy is the most important thing I can do for myself.”
In January of last year, Kesha checked herself into treatment for anorexia and bulimia. “I went to an eating-disorder specific rehab site where a nutritionist taught me that food is a positive thing for your body,” she says. "That first day at the treatment center was the scariest of my life," she wrote. For the first week, she barely spoke. "I was terrified and vulnerable."
The pop star spent two months in rehab and emerged feeling like she knew her self-worth and didn't have to worry about how others, including paparazzi, saw her. "I feel stronger now," she explained. "Strong enough to admit that I needed help and strong enough to have faced it head on.... Even I need to be reminded that we are who we are." Since her therapy, the singer admits she’s entering a new phase of self-love in her life and accepting herself.
“I’m trying to embrace the skin I’m in,” she said. “It’s difficult sometimes. Every day I have to look in the mirror and make the choice to be kind to myself. This is who I am – I have to love that.” “Part of being healthy is being positive,” she said. She doesn’t listen to the haters online, but instead tries to find peace in her life. “I run a few miles on the beach every day, and I got into Transcendental Meditation,” she told Vogue. [It reminds me] to be grateful for where I am, for my body, and my face – as imperfect as any of it may be.”
Moving forward, Kesha has transformed her look. She has removed the dollar sign from her name and lightened up on the makeup and glitter. It looks like the pop star is truly transforming inside and out. “I really wanted to make a change—be more raw and real,” she says.