Sammy Nickalls
Updated May 15, 2015 @ 8:51 am

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, only 5% of American women and girls have the body type portrayed as “the ideal” in advertising. And with so much pressure to be thin and perfect, it’s no wonder that millions of women (and men!) all over the world suffer from eating disorders.

For stars and celebrities, the pressure to look perfect is even more intense. Such is the case with Kesha, who went to rehab for her eating disorder a little over a year ago. Now, in a recent interview with Vogue, the singer is opening up about that dark time in her life and the struggles she faces even today.

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs,” she explained to Vogue. “It’s been quite a journey. [With the criticism], I went to a dark place. There was a lot of not eating — and I started to think being hungry to the point of feeling almost faint was a positive thing.” As her eating disorder became worse, those who knew her had no idea — and they gave her more and more positive feedback. “Inside I was really unhappy, but outside, people were like, ‘Wow, you look great,'” she told Vogue.

Kesha’s own music actually helped her to pull herself out of that vicious cycle. “I was singing these songs like ‘We R Who We R,’ and I really believed them,” the singer said. “I wanted to be genuine. But I was sad and [I wasn’t eating]. That’s not good for your body, metabolism, or brain.”

Her therapist helped her to address that she had a serious problem — and she decided to drop everything and work on herself. “I called my mom one night and I told her, ‘I need help,'” she told Vogue. “I went to an eating-disorder specific rehab site where a nutritionist taught me that food is a positive thing for your body. I realized being healthy is the most important thing I can do for myself.”

The most important element of overcoming an eating disorder? Positivity, according to Kesha. “I don’t pay attention to the Internet or bloggers,” she told Vogue. “I surround myself with positive people. I run a few miles on the beach every day, and I got into Transcendental Meditation to try to find some peace in my crazy life. [It reminds me] to be grateful for where I am, for my body, and my face — as imperfect as any of it may be.”

Kesha, who was always known for her wildly bright makeup and intense look (in fact, there was once a time when her makeup artist literally glued rhinestones to her face, according to the singer), has now opted for a natural beauty routine, as you can see from her Vogue shoot below.

“I really wanted to make a change — be more raw and real,” she told Vogue. “I wanted to be more confident in myself — embrace every inch of my body — not try to cover up with makeup . . . Now, I’m trying to embrace the skin I’m in. It’s difficult sometimes. Every day I have to look in the mirror and make the choice to be kind to myself. This is who I am — I have to love that.”

But Kesha isn’t totally done with her glam look! “I’m not done with it forever — there are still hints of glitter,” she told Vogue. Glitter or no glitter, we love Kesha, and we’re so thankful that she opened up about such a dark time in her life. Who knows how many other girls she will help thanks to her terrific honesty.

Check out the full interview on the Vogue site.

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