Kesha's Album "Rainbow" is a Feminist Anthem

Most people have heard about the legal situation between artist Kesha and her producer, Dr. Luke, at Sony Records. Kesha accused Dr. Luke of verbally, physically, and sexually abusing her throughout her career (New York Times). However, no action was taken against Luke. The legal battle was one that frustrated a lot of Americans, particularly women who identified with Kesha’s history of abuse. And yet, despite all of the turmoil and all that Kesha had to bear, she released a new album that cataloged her experiences in a brave new way. 

“Praying,” the most popular song from Kesha’s album, is one of rawness and truth. The song itself is powerful, and the music video is enough to give you chills. At the beginning of the video, Kesha speaks a powerful monologue before the song begins.

Am I dead? Or is this one of those dreams? Those horrible dreams that seem like they last forever? If I am alive, why? If there is a God or whatever, something, somewhere, why have I been abandoned by everyone and everything I've ever known? I've ever loved? Stranded. What is the lesson? What is the point? God, give me a sign, or I have to give up. I can't do this anymore. Please just let me die. Being alive hurts too much” (Lenny).

This beginning chronicles Kesha at her lowest points in life. She notes that she was depressed, struggling with an eating disorder, and dealing with her trauma, feeling like she had nothing (Lenny). 

But then, as the song continues, she begins to grow stronger. In the video, she starts off lying alone in the ocean in black and white with the monologue being spoken. And yet, as she sings she begins to take on a new life, filled with color—a reason for the title of the album, Rainbow. She starts to fight off her attackers and stand tall with color all around her. This visual is representative of her own growth, her own recovery. In an article about “Praying,” and her new album, Kesha says, “It’s from our darkest moments that we gain the most strength” (Lenny). The use of color in the song and the album as a whole is representative of Kesha’s ability to push through the darkness and survive. The song “Praying” truly embodies these ideals as we hear Kesha reaching for something more.

Kesha’s new album is the feminist anthem many have been needing for a long time now. Between her upbeat songs such as “Woman” or “Hunt You Down,” women are getting to stand up, relentless and proud of their womanhood. Still, this album also offers a more vulnerable side to the feminist anthem that shouts “be yourself, don’t let others get you down” as well as “struggle is possible to overcome” through songs such as “Bastards” or “Hymn.” Kesha takes on the attitudes of carelessness and self-consciousness that many women are faced with in today’s society.

By standing up against Dr. Luke, Kesha made a loud statement, one that some may say contributed greatly to the #MeToo movement and the discussion of sexual assault that is finally being pushed to a forefront in our society. For this in itself, Kesha was able to make women feel as if they were not alone, and that they can take a stand as well. Kesha is still fighting a difficult battle, and many with her as well. And yet, in the face of adversity, she managed to crawl out of her suffering and make her way back to the rainbow (hence the album title). By conveying this message of positivity and doing so as an unapologetic woman, Kesha has created a powerful feminist album that captures the balance between vulnerability and pride, demonstrating the true power of women.