When Ke$ha announced this weekend that she was entering rehab for eating disorder treatment, we should have known that not everybody would handle the situation with grace and respect. Still, it’s incredibly disappointing to see major entertainment news sites responding the way they are.
I first found out that Ke$ha was suffering from ED from a since-edited article that juxtaposed its “omg so sad” message with paparazzi photos of the singer in a bikini, which they had the propriety to describe as “unflattering” and doing “nothing for her figure.” When I went looking for more information, I discovered that the always tactless TMZ had featured a side-by-side comparison of a makeupless Ke$ha in a bathing suit in 2011 and a glammed-up red carpet Ke$ha in 2013, apparently because it would be way too hard to report about a scary mental and physical health issue without including a blatant advertisement for anorexia. People at least had the decency to link to a hotline for the National Eating Disorders Association at the end of their article, but that barely makes up for its title: “Ke$ha: Signs That She Was Struggling Before Rehab.” Because we should totally be speculating over photos of her body and trying to determine when she started getting sick. That’s exactly what someone needs when they’re trying to recover from an illness. Especially when that illness was fanned by constant scrutiny from the media. Awesome.
We can’t keep this up anymore. We seriously, seriously need to overhaul the way we talk about eating disorders. We can’t continue to glamorize the effects of anorexia while pretending we’re against self-harm. We can’t continue to make individuals look weak for crossing the fine line between Health-Crazed and Out Of Control. It’s bullshit and it’s dangerous and it needs to stop now.
Luckily, even while dealing with her own personal battles, Ke$ha continues to be the same self-love role model she’s always been. She tells E! News,
I’m a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself but I’ve found it hard to practice. I’ll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating disorder… to learn to love myself again. Exactly as I am.
We’re rooting for you, girl.