Kelly Clarkson Talks About Abandonment Issues & Being Body-Shamed With Photos Of Naked Women

Kelly revealed that she had to fight pressure to look a certain way early on in her career.

Kelly Clarkson attends STX Entertainment's "UglyDolls" photo call at The Four Seasons Hotel
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Kelly revealed that she had to fight pressure to look a certain way early on in her career.

Kelly Clarkson spoke about the adversity she’s had to overcome to become the superstar that she is during a candid interview with Glamour UK. The wide range of topics she touched on included how her abandonment issues have shaped her life and the intense pressure she was under to look a certain way early on in her music career.

One subject the 38-year-old singer did not speak about was her divorce from her husband of almost seven years, Brandon Blackstock. While the interview was published on Tuesday, it was seemingly conducted before Kelly’s shocking split from Brandon become public knowledge. She even casually mentioned him while talking about nudity.

“Mind you, my husband will tell you, I am totally okay with nudity. I think it is a beautiful thing,” Kelly said.

The topic of nudity came up while Kelly was speaking about the image certain people around her wanted her to portray when she was younger. According to the former American Idol star, she was actually under more pressure to look a certain way when she was thinner. She revealed that she would be shown magazines with “a chick naked on the cover” and told that she was competing with those women.

However, Kelly didn’t let the body-shamers coerce her into doing something she wasn’t comfortable with for the sake of her career. The “I Dare You” singer made it clear that she doesn’t judge other female celebrities who show a lot of skin, but she pushed back hard against the idea that she had to strip down to compete with her contemporaries.

“Even in my thinnest, most fit moment, it’s just not my personality to be naked on the front of a magazine,” Kelly said.

Her insistence on doing things her way seemingly paid off later on. Kelly noted that she was “at her heaviest point” was she was hired to be a coach on The Voice, and her appearance was never an issue. Instead, she revealed that she got the gig because NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy loved her personality and how “raw and real” she is.

Kelly Clarkson performs at 102.7 KIIS-FM's 8th Annual Wango Tango 2005
Kelly performs at Wango Tango in 2005. Kevin Winter / Getty Images

While Kelly didn’t let her early career experiences give her long-lasting body-image issues, she has come to realize that her abandonment issues are something that she’ll always struggle with. They stem from Kelly’s father abandoning her family when she was 6 years old. She likened the persistent pain that this caused to an addiction.

“It’s always there. It’s just navigating your life around that existence in your life,” Kelly said.

Kelly revealed that writing songs about the pain is helpful, and she has learned to look at her traumatic experiences from a different perspective. She noted that she wouldn’t be where she is today if she hadn’t been forced to find the strength and confidence to survive something awful that may continue to haunt her for the rest of her life.

“There are always things that happen that come up that bum you out, but at the same time you’ve got to recognize at some point though, that it’s made you who you are,” Kelly said. “You are thankful and I’m a very strong individual.”