P. Claire Dodson
December 10, 2016 9:12 am
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Kesha has had an especially harrowing 2016. But even with everything she’s been through this year, she has remained the same authentic, sincere, crazy creative musician we adore, which makes her a fitting winner of Billboard’s Women in Music Awards “Trailblazer” honor. She accepted the accolade Friday night, and OF COURSE Kesha’s Billboard speech was perfect, as she used it to talk frankly about the battles she’s faced and inspire us with her wisdom.

“Finding the strength to come forward about these things­ it’s not easy, but maybe by me standing here telling my story, I can help somebody else who’s going through something tough,” she told the crowd, referencing her ongoing struggles with eating disorders and anxiety, as well as her 2014 lawsuit against former producer Dr. Luke for allegedly raping and abusing her.

She also brought up an important point about eating disorders and the way we talk to each other bout our bodies. She said, “The irony of it is, when I was very, very sick and getting sicker, I would hear about how much better and better I was looking.” It’s a good reminder to think before we comment on someone’s weight — even if we think we’re giving them a compliment, we’re also reinforcing a societal obsession with thinness.

The 29-year-old’s emotional speech also touched on imposter syndrome, and we’ve ALL been there.

“I’ve never really thought of myself as a trailblazer,” Kesha said. “I’m just as scared and flawed as any person I know. My message has always been to believe in yourself and love yourself just as you are. When I write those words, I do so as a reminder to myself as much as anyone else.”

But a true trailblazer is someone who leads the conversation about issues that matter, who never stops standing up for what’s right, who overcomes the people and things that threaten to drag her down. We can’t think of many better choices than Kesha.

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