Kesha has vowed to spend less time online because of the damaging effects Internet trolls have had on her health.
In 2014, the singer underwent rehab for two months to treat an eating disorder. She has since often encountered body-shamers online and has occasionally fired back at them publicly. In a personal essay published in Teen Vogue Wednesday, Kesha opens up about cyber-bullying.
“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,” she said. “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.”
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“It became a vicious cycle: When I compared myself to others, I would read more mean comments, which only fed my anxiety and depression,” she continued. “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.”
Since 2014, Kesha has been embroiled in a legal battle with her former producer Dr. Luke. She sued him for sexual assault and battery and is also seeking to invalidate her recording contracts with him. Luke has said he “didn’t rape Kesha” and “have never had sex with her” and filed a countersuit.
Scores of fans have expressed support for Kesha online amid her turmoil. Kesha said she has “grown up a lot” over the past couple of years and has changed her “relationship with social media.”
“I love it because it’s how I communicate with my fans—and nothing means more to me than my fans—but too much of it can exacerbate my anxiety and depression,” she said.
“This year I made a pledge to take more breaks from social media and screens and spend more time in nature,” she wrote. “For me, some of the most therapeutic experiences include hiking up a mountain or riding a bike by the beach. Being among animals in their natural habitats reminds me that my problems are so small. Our lives are no more significant than the lives of any other animals. We’re all just animals, after all!”