Beyond Reality

When meeting Kesha Nichols for the first time, every single girl feels, well, a bit jealous – she is beautiful, talented, smart and funny. She has a smart and handsome boyfriend, an adorable dog, and she runs a successful dance company. Her fans have opened a facebook fan page dedicated to “the most beautiful woman to ever walk the earth.”  – Yes, that is what it says.  She has over 40,000 dedicated followers on Twitter. And in her free time, she helps young girls build their self-confidence and learn how to stand-up against bullying.

But meeting Kesha is an eye opener.  Life challenges all of us and it is entirely up to each of us to decide what we do with these challenges. Kesha is amazing and successful but not because she is so talented and pretty (of course it helps) but because she is able to turn even the worst circumstances into something positive.  She faces the worst of situations with grace and a smile, like having the news of her cancelled wedding plastered on the front of national newspapers and being bullied on one of the most popular reality TV shows in the US.  Kesha has learned to take whatever comes at her all with a confidents smile, diginity and somehow and manages to stay true to her roots and beliefs.

The entire world had learned about Kesha for the first time, the day after her wedding was called off.  National newspapers and tabloids posted her pictures on the covers with titles like “Dumped at the alter”, “ Richard Jefferson cancels wedding over email”, “2 million dollar wedding wasted”.

It wasn’t true, well, not entirely. Kesha and her finance, famous NBA player, Richard Jefferson, cancelled the wedding a couple days before. But everything was already planned and many of her guests had already arrived in NYC for the nuptials.   Instead of handling it privately, Kesha had to face every girl’s worst nightmare in the public eye.
And then, the really amazing story begins. Instead of fighting with the tabloids, blaming her ex, or even hiding – Kesha handled the situation with  absolute grace. First of all, her wedding guests flew in from all over country – so she decided to turn the ‘cancelled wedding’ into a “life celebration” with her closest family and friends. She showed the world that she had a life before and she will have a life after.

She scheduled an interview with Good Morning America and explained what happened to Diane Sawyer.  She explained the breakup very  “matter-of-factly” and without blaming anybody.  She admits it was difficult, and that of course she was heart broken – but she did it with amazing dignity.  Her approach was, “this is what happened and this is the right way to deal with it.”  She even donated her wedding dress.  She owned the situation – not letting others make a victim out of her but also not pretending that nothing happened.

Kesha in Good Morning America

Kesha even donated her wedding dress.

Kesha was then invited to join the cast of Vh1’s “Basketball Wives”.  She took the opportunity as she thought the show would be a great way to portray women of color in a positive light.  However, she learned quickly that the complete opposite would happen.  She thought the cast of the show would be shown as role models for young girls who watch the show. Unfortunately, positivity isn’t what the viewers wanted to see, so drama and negativity was encouraged.  So instead of it being a positive experience, Kesha found herself the victim of the worst display of adult bullying ever seen on TV.  She even had her passport and belonging stolen by one of her cast mates while overseas.

But again Kesha handle it wonderfully. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she expressed pity for her reality TV rivals.  “Bullies are simply crying out for attention that they cannot receive in other ways. It is actually quite sad, especially when seen in adults,” Kesha wrote in her blog. Nicki Minaj and other celebrities supported Kesha. All of them joined their forces against bullying. Instead of hiding she again owned the situation.

Kesha has left the show and is an advocate to help students “Be Above Bullying.”  She gives speeches in schools for children on what is bullying and how to deal with it.

Kesha shows us that bad things can happened to all of us and nobody is perfect.  Nobody’s life is exactly how they want it to be and we are constantly tested.  So, it is up to US how we handle these challenges and what we make of them. Every situation can work to our advantage. Kesha shows that it is very important to keep believing in yourself and  to not let others destroy your self-confidence.

I was a roommate with Kesha for a week and I hoped she rubbed off on me, even a little bit.

Photos courtesy of Kesha Nichols Facebook page

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