On January 03, 2014 singer-songwriter Kesha checked into a clinic near Chicago to treat an apparent eating disorder, making a public statement that she will be unavailable for the next 30 days. Her mother later disclosed to the press; when Kesha was admitted to the hospital, her blood pressure and sodium levels were the same as a patient who had suffered heart attack or stroke.
Kesha Rose Sebert was signed in 2005 at age 18, to Kemosabe Entertainment, producer “Dr. Luke’s” record label. In 2010, her song “Tik Tok” was among the best-selling digital singles in history, selling over 14 million units internationally. The pressure on the young woman who became such a sensation almost overnight is apparent in photographs of her ranging from 2011 through today. While having a healthy body image and being a “crusader for being yourself and loving yourself” catapulted her into stardom, once there the pressure to lose weight was overwhelming. It’s rumored the singer was ridiculed and harassed at her record label (where she has spent years trying unsuccessfully to break from her contract) and called a refrigerator by her producer. Her willingness to seek treatment openly and the assertive intention to regain her positive self-image are a testament to her sincere desire to free herself of eating disorder behavior.
Checking into the same treatment facility Demi Lovato recently attended brings to light the scrutiny and judgment young women face to look a certain way. Lady Gaga, Portia de Rossi and Fiona Apple have all admitted to struggling with eating disorders as a result of the pressure to be thin, and most notably singer Karen Carpenter’s whose eating disorder began with a diet that eventually ended in her death from heart attack at age 32. Hollywood, the media and fashion industries all perpetuate a glamorized image of super thin defining desirable youth, carefully hiding the grim realities of how these disorders effect health and beauty. Premature aging and reduction of bone density (osteoporosis), hair loss and tooth decay are all common side effects accompanying eating disorders. By publicly entering rehab to confront her eating disorder, Kesha succeeds in voicing a challenge to the pressure to be thin, valuing self-love and healthy well-being above commercial popularity.