Becoming America’s sweetheart after winning American Idol in 2002, Kelly Clarkson is unapologetically happy with her physique and refuses to be caught up in the beauty circus that demands physical perfection of celebrities.
Clarkson, the multiple award-winning singer and TV host, suggests that artists change the narrative from one that currently allows aesthetic judgements to one that values talents above else.
Only 20 years old when she impressed the hard-to-please Simon Cowell, Clarkson–then a fledgling in the entertainment world–experienced a boom in her career, collecting numerous successes along the way.
Her 2002 debut singles “Before your Love” and “A Moment Like This,” both that were performed by Clarkson at the American Idol finale, broke the record held by The Beatles for the biggest leap to number one in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Clarkson, the soprano whose voice can hit the whistle register–the highest of the human voice–also sang the anthem at the NBA finals and at the 2012 Super Bowl.
Now 41, the charming Clarkson was a judge on Duets and The Voice–both singing competitions–and is also the host of her own talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, which is now in its fourth season, its popularity and premise earning her 13 Daytime Emmy Awards.
Balancing her busy career as a TV host and songwriter with being a single mother of two–she divorced her husband of eight years in 2021–the “Since U Been Gone” singer also authors children’s books, which includes lullabies composed and performed by her.
Despite her numerous accolades, and her versatile style which ranges from country music to rock and pop, online audiences still only see one thing: her weight gain.
Speaking with Redbook, she shares that she’s learned to block the noise. “No one actually cares about your health. They just care about aesthetics. It’s when I’m fat that I’m happy. People think, ‘Oh, there’s something wrong with her. She’s putting on weight.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, no! I’m sorry, but that represents happiness in my emotional world. Clarkson continued, “For me when I’m skinny is usually when I’m not doing well. If you gauge your life on what other people think, you’re going to be in a constant state of panic trying to please everyone. People should just concentrate on their own lives and their own health and their own happiness, and whatever that looks like for you, be happy with it.”
Dealing with the perfectionist beauty standards held by society today, Clarkson still faces judgements of her fluctuating weight, from when she was 20 to now, physical changes that are normal and expected.
“I felt more pressure from people actually when I was thin, when I was really thin and not super healthy because I just was worn out, just working so hard and not keeping healthy habits. But I felt more pressure. It was more of magazines shoved in front of you and, ‘This is what you’re competing with and we’ve got to compete with it.’” Clarkson said in an interview with a 2020 interview with Glamour. “I can’t compete with that. That’s not even my image. That’s not who I am. That’s who they are. We’re all different and it’s okay. I fought more when I was thinner than I do now, because now I just walk in and I just look at them like, ‘I dare you to say something. I’m happy in my life. I’ll work on me in my time!’”
Revealing that she struggles with an autoimmune condition and hyperthyroidism, Clarkson shared that she has little control over her weight and that she “can literally gain 2 sizes, or lose 2 sizes, from morning to lunch.”
Learning to manage the symptoms, she changed her diet to food that’s “non-GMO, no pesticides, eating really organic,” and dropped 37 pounds.
In 2018, she shared her secrets on Today, “I know the industry loves the weight gone, but for me it wasn’t (about) the weight. For me, it was ‘I’m not on my medicine anymore,’” which she adds is empowering.
Clarkson emphasizes that she’s an entertainer, not to be judged for how she looks, but the talent she presents.
“I got on the number one television show at my heaviest point, because it was right after I had kids and it was like they didn’t care,” Clarkson said, adding it was her personality and ability to create genuine connections that landed her the talk show. “It had nothing to do with my sex appeal or my look aesthetically. It had to do with me as a person. I think it’s really up to artists to force people to have that mentality.”
Speaking of Adele, whom she calls a goddess, Clarkson said, “…I don’t care what kind of weight she’s holding down; you walk in the room and she’s like a force, just physically captivating…that doesn’t change how many times I listened to her record.”
And, if you’re wondering how the natural beauty will handle aging in the next couple of decades, Clarkson said decisively, “I’m gonna look like a total Shar Pei, like a dog,’’ she joked. “I’m gonna have every wrinkle in the world on my face. It has nothing to do with me being better than somebody who gets something done to their face; I am afraid of stuff called botulism toxin… It’s literally called botulism toxin, and I’m like no.” Embracing aging and ready for the world to see it on camera, she adds, “I hope people see that this is what it looks like, this is how you look when you get older.”
Kelly Clarkson is the perfect example of someone who’s beautiful on the inside and outside. We think she’s amazing at any weight and we agree with her urging people to appreciate an artist for their talents over everything else. What are your thoughts on the beautiful Clarkson and her stories career?