Kelly Clarkson has been criticized and scrutinized for her weight throughout her career. As the very first American Idol winner, she rose to fame virtually overnight and that came with a lot of attention, pressure and a rigorous schedule.
During the recording and promoting of her 2004 hit album Breakaway, she was heavily pressured to lose weight in order to look as skinny as some of the other pop stars of that era.
This was a very triggering experience for her as she battled an eating disorder in high school. The constant focus on her weight and image, along with how she looked in relation to the other artists of that time, made her incredibly self-conscious and unhealthy. She tells Attitude magazine in a recent interview:
“When I was really skinny, I wanted to kill myself. I was miserable, like inside and out, for four years of my life. But no one cared, because aesthetically you make sense.”
Clarkson classifies that point in her life as a very dark time and revealed she lived in the gym. She was working out so intensely and continually that she injured her knees and her feet from constant overexertion.
There was a big struggle over who got creative control over her music, her image and her upcoming schedule and that further drove a wedge between her and her management. She famously fought with music exec heavyweight Clive Davis over song selection for her third album.
When talking about the status of her weight and image now, she’s come to a much more aligned place mentally. She says she doesn’t obsess or agonize over her weight like she used to.
She can’t because it’s too mentally taxing for her and it reminds her of the struggles she used to have trying to fit some perfect body ideal. She is aware that others always have something to say about her weight but she can’t internalize or worry about it.
“There are just some people who are born skinny and with a great metabolism- that is not me.”