Why Kelly Clarkson’s Body Image is Healthy for Celebrity Culture

Feb 27, 2015 at 5:07 pm |

Back in 2002 when American Idol premiered its inaugural season – and it still felt like we were truly choosing the next top performer that we were all going to gag over – Kelly Clarkson won the hearts (and ears) of America.

Not only could she belt her face off, but the native Texan seemed genuine, homegrown, and ecstatic to become a pop culture icon. Amazingly, Kelly’s public image hasn’t changed much over the last thirteen years – she’s still genuine, still talented, and still capable of rolling out a hit. Except, now she’s fat.

At least, that’s what she’s been pinned as by the public since she made an appearance at the American Country Countdown Awards back in December:

Even British personality Katie Hopkins went after Kelly, claws-out and snarling on social media after Kelly made an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, first calling her just straight-up fat, and then going so far as to explain why her postpartum status gives her zero excuses. (If you hadn’t heard, Kelly gave birth to her beautiful daughter River Rose with husband Brandon Blackstock last summer.) “Darling, if you had a baby a year ago, that is not baby weight. It is fat. Quit calling it cute names to make yourself feel better. Baby weight, puppy fat, muffin top. We’re so weak-willed we have to make up cute names for fat. Babies, puppies, muffins. Nope. Just fat, love.”

Of course fans and women all over went after Hopkins in Kelly’s defense.

Refusing to jump in on the drama herself, Kelly’s only response was to re-tweet this amazing post from Bill Murray.

What a class act.

Kelly’s weight has remained on trial since. Some claim that she’s technically now responsible for her “fatness,” because it’s been over six months since she gave birth to beautiful baby, which is the medically allotted amount of time in which a new mother should be able to shed her weight. But what if Kelly doesn’t care about that? She’s certainly not obese, so her health isn’t a concern. Oh yes, and she’s also still in the first year of motherhood (jumping from no kids to three kids,) about to release her first non-Christmas album since 2011, and she was married relatively recently. Aren’t these celebrities allowed to be human?

And yet, she’s continued to handle herself with grace through the whole debate. Prior to giving birth, Kelly joked about how comfortable she was with her own body during her pregnancy says Classicalite. “Everybody calls me fat all the time, so I can’t wait to have a reason, instead of everybody just being a jerk! I’ve never been Gisele Bündchen, so ain’t nobody expectin’ that! I like to set a [low] standard so people don’t expect a lot.”

We’re constantly featuring how impressive it is when a celebrities lose their maternity weight with the expediency of a high school wrestler trying to make class, but are we so unwilling to accept a different scenario?

Kelly’s always been curvy, so why is this something that is so difficult for us to embrace for someone of her celebrity status? Does she need our permission to embrace her own body after having a child?

Amazingly, Kelly has even led educational workshops in the past aimed at helping young girls accept their own body images. To a group of about 20 pre-teens in Nashville, Kelly announced, “Just to let you know, everyone in the magazines is Photoshopped! Beyoncé is one of the most beautiful girls in the world, but she gets Photoshopped too. We’re all human… We’re not fem-bots!”

Kelly even admitted that they “Photoshopped the crap out of [her]” for one of her own album covers.

Hollywood needs to start taking notes, because if we had more representations of younger women embracing themselves even at high levels of celebrity status, we might not need so much photoshop in the first place. We could even begin embracing ourselves as much as Kelly.

Kelly Clarkson couldn’t care less about what you think about her weight loss – and isn’t that great?