I have a theory that almost every female celebrity has a thing – that one annoying detail people can’t seem to get over, the thing they’re asked about incessantly even though it has been years of the celebrity saying they don’t want to talk about that thing anymore. For Carrie Underwood, it’s going to be the 40 stiches face situation. Her face looks the same. She wasn’t trying to make it a big deal. Everyone get over it. For Jane Fonda, it’s her plastic surgery. For Nicole Kidman, it’s that she was married to Tom Cruise. Anne Hathaway’s ‘thing’ she’ll never escape? Hathahate.
Kelly Clarkson’s ‘thing’ is her weight. She’s been open about how many f-cks she gives about her weight. Zero. She gives zero f-cks. Being ‘skinny’ doesn’t make Kelly Clarkson happy. Her weight is, frankly, none of our goddamn business but since Kelly has been famous for nearly 20 years and her body has changed, as one does over 20 years, people feel emboldened to comment relentlessly on it. Kelly’s reaction to the obsession with her body has always been one of the reasons I like her so much. She doesn’t subscribe to the usual bullsh-t Hollywood standards of beauty and she’s always been confident enough to shut down dangerous body-shaming language.
Kelly Clarkson’s ‘thing’ is back since she mentioned casually in a Twitter video that she’s lost weight. If you were watching Kelly on The Voice, you may have noticed this too. She looks great but again, her weight is none of our goddamn business. Today, after Kelly’s appearance at the CMT Awards last night, there are numerous headlines about her “trim figure” or speculating how many exact pounds Kelly has lost. It’s gross. What feels the most gross is that Kelly’s weight loss or weight gain is treated like a success or a failure.
Kelly Clarkson has had a great year. She won The Voice. She was one of the best hosts the Billboard Awards have ever seen. She’s been promoting an album I love and won’t shut up about. Kelly Clarkson’s success this year has nothing to do with her weight and yet, the rest of her year may be dominated by ‘Kelly Before and After!’ stories and tabloid fodder over her body.
I don’t want to perpetuate Kelly’s ‘thing’ but I bring all of this up so that when you’re scrolling through tweets and posts today that focus on Kelly’s weight instead of her epic performance of “American Woman” maybe you’ll think twice. Yes, that was a call back to Kelly’s performance of “Think Twice” on American Idol.
In honour of Throwback Thursday, let’s revisit that iconic performance, shall we? I STAN.