The Return of an Icon
Last week, Kesha finally made her triumphant return to the music scene with her new single, Praying. The powerful ballad is a clear reference to her recent legal battle with former producer Dr. Luke who she accused of sexual assault in 2014.
I am a longtime fan of Kesha (even under her former persona of "Ke$ha"), and to me, it has always seemed like she has this incredible ability to create poppy, upbeat, party music as well as incredibly meaningful ballads that make me just want to sit alone and cry over how beautiful they are. (I may or may not have done this for Praying multiple times already)
While Kesha's recent legal and personal struggle have given her a lot of headlines and a lot of praise for being a survivor rather than a victim of sexual assault, in my mind, she has always been a feminist icon. Coming on to the music scene around the same time as artists like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, who are known for their over the top music videos and stage performances, Kesha has consistently released top singles that, although strange at times, are relatable to the 20-something age modern woman. She is simultaneously a party girl as well as incredibly deep and sincere (think TiK ToK, Sleazy, and Die Young vs. Stephen, The Harold Song, and Past Lives). Today's 20-something woman does not fall into a mold of one or the other, so why should the pop stars that make music for our generation fall into one?
The terribly amazing thing about Kesha is that her sexual assault case proves that ANYone can be taken advantage of, even those that are seen as strong and independent on the outside. I would like to think that making her struggle public will give others the strength to voice their own experiences and help create change for the future. The media's overall support of Kesha gives me hope that our society is moving towards one that embraces and lifts women up rather than shaming them.
To read more about the legal battles between Kesha and former producer, Dr Luke, click here.