Kesha had a difficult 2016, what with the high-profile sexual assault case against her former producer, Dr Luke, and subsequent online trolling. The singer has now spoken candidly about her relationship with the internet in a conversation about women reclaiming their space online.
Partnering on a cyber-bullying panel with Refinery29 at the SXSW festival, Kesha discussed the importance of women taking ownership of their lives on social media- as well as opening up about battling an eating disorder and developing music that felt more true to her.
Kesha: “I am happiest when I’m present in my real life.”
After turning 30 this month, Kesha believes this year has been a powerful time to reflect on and find peace with her self-image. She urged others to find the same freedom, both on and offline.
“The internet is not a healthy place for me. I limit myself on reading comments,” she said in a Q&A before the event.
“There may have been so many positive ones but I always gravitate towards reading the negative ones. I realised I was making trolls and bullies the truth, making them my higher power. I have become a woman in a lot of ways, reclaiming my personal space, my body and my confidence. With online, it’s important to reclaim that space too.”
She continued “I am happiest when I’m present in my real life, not my online life. Her advice? “Develop your own healthy relationship with the internet. Make sure you’re not hurting yourself with it.”
When asked about where she finds the perseverance and courage to fight her body and industry struggles, Kesha said “I like being alive.”
what I love most about being in recovery is that my BODY is MY BUSINESS and NO one else’s. And I fucking love it. most days. ((some days I don’t)) BUT THE BEAUTY is that my BODY does not determine my WORTH anymore. I’m a magic force to be reckoned with. period. thank you universe for my recovery today. if any of you out there are suffering, I hope you can hear merecovery is possible
She also believes that one positive thing about social media is the power it gives people in having their voice heard, and finding others who believe in similar causes.
“I feel it’s my right as a woman and an entertainer to speak out about the issues I am passionate about. I am most passionate about the issues surrounding equality; I believe that every living thing is equally important and every person deserves the same freedoms and human rights as every other person. I will always stand up for LGBT rights, women’s rights, minority rights, or anyone who has their basic human rights challenged,” Kesha told Refinery29’s Amy Emmerich.
Dipping into politics, Kesha believes now is a time for people to continually question and actively protest bigotry and oppression.
“The silver lining [to Donald Trump’s presidency] to me is I have seen millions of Americans come together in the name of acceptance and unity to fight against his bullying behaviour,” she said.
Next up for Kesha is focusing on expressing herself with a new-found freedom. The singer has written around 70-80 songs that she believes harness her emotions.
“The new music is me speaking honestly about things in my life. For the first time without anyone dictating things for me,” she said.
“I’m just not going to let people who doubt me and say negative things about me win. I’m not going to let hate win. I’ve since realised I’ve found a lot of strength in my vulnerabilities. A lot more people can relate to that.”