It’s true that sometimes we have to marinate in and examine the past in order to truly free ourselves of it. That’s just what Kesha proves in the video for her third single from the upcoming Rainbow album. Directed by Isaac Ravishankara, the video commences with Kesha popping a VHS tape (a medium that’s due for one of those “kitschy” retro comebacks that Urban Outfitters can capitalize on). The blue fuzz of the screen turns to a standard-looking home movie of little “Keshasaurus” as she frolics about in various aspects of her suburban milieu, carefree and always seeming to dance or wear a dinosaur-related clothing item.
Footage (which Kesha’s mother, songwriter Pebe Sebert, helped dredge up) intermixed with the Kesha of now sporting a shimmery blue pantsuit accents the point the singer wants to make clear: “It’s this idea of reconnecting to my child-like self because that’s when you are so full of wonder and joy. You can choose to learn from the bullshit along the way but not dwell on it and and instead connect with that joyful childhood innocence.”
This joyful innocence includes wandering through the wooded area of her backyard, as though chasing that version of herself in the home video, and stumbling upon a bed with a giant teddy bear on it. Clinging to it as little girl would, Kesha works to “exorcise the demons inside [her].” As both the child and adult version of Kesha jump up and down on the bed, a certain lyric referencing Dr. Luke takes on particular poignancy as she sings, “Had a boogieman under my bed/Putting crazy thoughts inside my head/Always whispering, “‘It’s all your fault'”/He was telling me “‘No, you’re not that strong.'”
But as Kesha dances jubilantly and with abandon in the woods with some (imaginary?) friends she finds, it’s clear that her strength is coming from a place that draws upon the superpower quality of a child to pick herself up again easily after a fall, and enjoy the simplest of pleasures that life has to offer.
As the “Learn to Let Go” comes to a close, Kesha returns to the couch to fall asleep to the comfort of her past self, with a jacket draped behind her that reads: “The Sweet Little Devil Herself Ms. Kesha Rose.” So it goes that every woman should, once in a while, take a page from the impish little girl incarnation of herself.