A love letter to a pop song: Kesha’s ‘We R Who We R’

I sat in the bath last night thinking about life (amongst other things, namely the time when Kelly Rowland livestreamed her party but forgot that she put webcams EVERYWHERE IN HER HOUSE). Another thing I thought about is that I should really write another blog in the vein of my one about ‘Dancing On My Own’. So, in that slightly soapy moment, I decided to write another love letter to a pop song.

Unlike ‘Dancing On My Own’, ‘We R Who We R’ isn’t a song that has taken on new meanings as I’ve grown up. Neither is it something that I listen to much in 2014 (let’s be honest, it’s she has much better songs). It’s more that it was something that was just something there (which sounds terrible, soz Kesha).

I generally don’t like ‘self help’ songs either. I understand why people like them (it might just be who I follow but my Tumblr dashboard is 1/3 inspirational quotes, 1/3 pink hair and 1/3 men with beards), but I find them a bit cold. Take ‘Born This Way’, for example. It felt more like a way of getting loyal gay fans before releasing an album that would never be as successful as the last than it did being truly inspirational.

Anyway, Kesha is an anomaly because she probably was a bit weird in school. The song is about being a bit weird and being proud of the fact that you’re a bit weird, and it’s hard not to believe her when she appears in the video wearing a bin liner. Looking back on it now, Kesha was probably the person that needed to listen to the song most out of anyone in the world.

‘We R Who We R’ came out in 2010, which means I had just turned sixteen. To be honest, I thought it was my Year 10 song as opposed to Year 11, but that matters not for the sake of this ‘love letter’. To paint the picture of sixteen year-old me, roaccutane had turned me from boy to reptile, I had terrible hair because I didn’t own a mirror and ‘Teenage Dream’ was my album du jour.

[I would put a picture of sixteen year-old me on here, but there is about a six-year period in my life without a single photo of me. which is another reason I’m writing this tbh; it’s a way of proving to the grandchildren that I existed in the noughties.]

The month when ‘We R Who We R’ came out here (January 2011, if I’m not mistaken), was the month when I was getting bullied the most. I don’t actually remember much about the time, I just have one distinct memory of walking towards my school gym, trying not to cry and looking like this:



So not a full-blown tear hose put pretty upset. When Matt Hooper: The Movie happens, I want Zendaya to take inspiration from this photo every time she cries as me.

I think that was also the day when I came out to my first friends. To be fair, it wasn’t really a proper ‘coming out’, more of a “I wish these people would stop calling me gay cos I don’t know what I am”-type affair, but still. Anyway, that day was the one that sticks out as probably the worst day of school. Perhaps even worse that the time I got kegged in PE and my underwear came down with my shorts (which led to the “I didn’t see anything there, so Matt must not have a penis” rumour that lasted for all of a day).

That day I came home, went straight to my room, and put on ‘Teenage Dream’. I liked that album because at the time, I had no emotional connection to any song on it. Now, ‘Teenage Dream’ will be my wedding song and my future husband will agree to it. But still, I was listening, probably crying into a pillow, thinking about how shit my life was.

I remember tweeting about it actually. Mainly because ‘Who Am I Living For?’ touched a nerve and I needed someone to talk to. I didn’t have a phone, nor Facebook, so I tweeted something about having the worst day of my life and not even ‘Teenage Dream’ could help (thankfully I only had about 10 followers at the time). Someone calmed me down thankfully, and I listened to ‘We R Who We R’. It was getting hammered on the radio here, and I think it was Number 1, so it was omnipresent.

I seem to remember listening to it on repeat. And it made me feel better because I felt like I wasn’t the only person. I vaguely remember trying to channel Kesha when I walked into the school the next day. Not in a glitter-check, bin bag-check, unwashed hair-check fashion, more of a ‘head held high’ way.

It wasn’t so much that I think this song is a 10/10 monster (I’d give it a 6.5, tbh), it was more that it was what I wanted to hear at that point in my life.


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