Did you catch what happened to Kelly Clarkson earlier this month? She was fat-shamed by a British journalist who said it looked like she ate her back up singers! Yikes! Can you imagine how hurtful that would be to read? But, KC handled it so gracefully; I had to write her a letter of applause. Here goes:
Dear Kelly Clarkson:
Wow. I know what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but, wow! You did such an amazing job defending yourself against that British bully, Kate Hopkins. Her modus operandi is fat-shaming and she chose you as her next victim – on Twitter, no less.
Those words. Ugh. They were beyond insensitive. I can’t fathom what it’s like to have your weight headline the news. Unless you count that stalker-like guy in college, I’ve never had anyone watching and waiting to catch me on an off day. The pressure you are under to fit a certain image must be intense. But it seems you refuse to let that stress be your dictator. You break away.
You go, girl.
Truth is, Kate’s rude tweets say something broader about you, about me, about her, and even about body image. Her snarky comments reveal how much we struggle to see each other’s value.
I wonder exactly what measurements Ms. Hopkins deems appropriate for you? What happens if you cross that line and become thinner than she prefers? It’s a lose-lose. But, you can never really win when you are trying to please others, can you?
Thanks for rising above all that. And, thanks for recognizing that life is not a beauty contest.
Even the fairest-of-us-all struggles. One only has to read the tabloid headlines (scattered beside those air-brushed photos) to confirm that. How can anyone think it’s okay to cast judgment on another’s appearance? We’re all in this thing called life, together. We each have our battles to fight, our victories to celebrate, and our losses to mourn. Size two or size twenty-two, we aren’t qualified to say what life feels like in someone else’s jeans.
And, in these unfair assessments, we miss something really important. What’s on the outside tells only a fraction of the story. A book critic can’t review a book by only assessing its front cover. How can we possibly discover another woman’s value by looking only at her BMI?
It seems you get that, Kelly. You really are Miss Independent.
We need more women like you who are willing to be real-–women who understand that life causes size fluctuations and that’s okay. My own weight goes up and down. That’s normal.
Yet, culture shouts its recommendation at a deafening level: Make sure no one ever sees that hormones, and babies, and toddlers who won’t nap, and preschoolers who use Sharpies on freshly painted walls take a toll on your body. Spend thousands at cosmetics counters, the plastic surgeon’s office, or on lingerie so tight it causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome so no one will see the impact.
It’s so silly how we bow to what we are told we should look like. Thanks for not doing that.
Women of all body types and sizes looked down at the scale this morning. Many believed that number declared more about them than their gravitational pull alone. You affirmed the opposite.
“That’s because she doesn’t know me. I’m awesome! It doesn’t bother me. It’s a free world. Say what you will.” You confidently announced to the press.
And that’s simply awesome. Because of you, more women will feel empowered to release the stigma that they are what they weigh.
I hope they caught your other words, too. Personally, I got the warm fuzzies because they’re words I also say. You told Peoplemagazine, “When the focus isn’t on you, it changes your perspective.
Can we do a virtual high five on that one?
You are so right. We’ve got to take the focus off of ourselves.
Your discovery was that focus on others (specifically your family, including sweet baby River Rose, and congrats by the way) gave you a break from the self-improvement rat race.
I’ve been on a similar journey. Ultimately, I found my freedom from body image bondage by turning my focus away from my own mirror, and growing more in an understanding of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When I stopped looking at my thighs and turned my eyes towards Him, my identity no longer depended on the opinion of others.
I know you are the original American Idol so I guess it only makes sense that you’d be a great role model for all of us moms. Thanks for not engaging in a catfight with that meanie on the other side of the pond, and instead, showing us how to hold our own. You’ll always have a special spot in my heart (and on my workout playlist) for that.