It's no secret that Hollywood favors certain body shapes and sizes over others, and sometimes, no matter how much talent one has, body image seems to play a more important role, just ask Kelly Clarkson.
The singer and first ever American Idol winner has been known to shut down body-shamers for commenting on her appearance. Just this past Fourth of July, she was forced to reply to a tweet calling her fat because she understood how a mean comment like that "might impact other people," especially her young fans who may not have skin as thick as she does.
....and still fucking awesome 😜 https://t.co/LvFgIITaTX— Kelly Clarkson (@kelly_clarkson) July 5, 2017
"I need you to know words are powerful and have weight and gravity to them. So that’s why I do it — but I also love being a smart ass," explained Clarkson in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
However, she wasn't always as tough as she is now.
Clarkson struggled with self-image issues throughout her career. When she first broke into the scene, she was urged by some of the industry's decision makers to stay as skinny as possible, and although she tried to keep up, it took a huge toll on her physical and mental health.
The 35-year-old pop star revealed in an interview with Attitude magazine that at one point she went through an extremely dark period during which she contemplated suicide.
Clarkson opened up about her past body-image and confidence issues, revealing that she was miserable for several years after winning the singing competition.
"When I was really skinny, I wanted to kill myself,” Clarkson said. “I was miserable, like, inside and out, for four years of my life. But, no one cared, because aesthetically you make sense.”
The beauty ideals set by Hollywood forced the singer to exercise constantly and push her body beyond its limits just to remain skinny.
"It was a very dark time for me,” she explained. “I thought the only way out was quitting. I, like, wrecked my knees and my feet because all I would do it put in headphones and run. I was at the gym all the time."
It took Clarkson four years to come to the realization that looks aren't as important as talent. The 'Piece by Piece' singer began to make some changes to her lifestyle leading up to the release of her 2007 album My December.
"There’s a song on My December called ‘Sober,'” Clarkson said. “There’s this line, ‘picked the weeds but kept the flowers’ and I just live my life by that because you are who you surround yourself with."
With the help of the great people in her life, the entertainer weeded out the negative ones. She described it as "a case of turning around, facing them and walking towards the light."
Clarkson turned her life around completely and learned to love herself for who she is. She married talent manager Brandon Blackstone in 2013, and the two are surrounded with even more love thanks to the children they share: 3-year-old daughter River Rose, and 1-year-old son Remington Alexander. She is also step-mother to two children from Blackstock's previous relationship.
The singer is raising her children to apologetically stand up for themselves if someone ever tries to put them down.
“I said, ‘You tell mommy if somebody does anything inappropriate,’" the singer told People magazine at Variety's Power of Women event just a few weeks ago. "You stand up for yourself."
"Even from a young age, I think you should instill that people, your children, should always stand up for themselves or speak out when something is wrong," she continued.
As we've all already seen, Clarkson is leading by example so her kids can grow up to love themselves and don't let anyone tell them otherwise.
“I think if we start it at that young age, and you start molding people and growing to these very elevated individuals that help elevate society,” she added. “It’s a really crucial time when you have children right now.”
What are your thoughts on Clarkson's revelation?