Kelly Clarkson Recalls Traumatic Body-Shaming Experience With Visual Comparison to Naked Women

Kelly Clarkson is opening up about her struggles with body image and revealing the disheartening experiences she has endured throughout her career. In a recent interview with Glamour UK, the American Idol alum recalled a moment early on in her career where she was shown images of naked women on magazine covers as a comparison for her own looks.

According to Clarkson, throughout her 18-year career, which was sparked following her Season 1 American Idol win in 2002, she has often had "magazines shoved in front" of her and has been told "This is what you're competing with and we've got to compete with it." It is an experience that she says many women in the entertainment industry have experienced. At one point, Clarkson was even shown a magazine with "a chick naked on the cover." After seeing it, Clarkson said that she "was like, 'Unless I'm doing an SNL skit and this is a comedy thing, I'm never going to pull this off.'" She said that "even in my thinnest, most fit moment, it's just not in my personality to be naked on the front of a magazine."

In the interview, Clarkson also revealed the moment she realized how her physical appearance could impact her career, a realization that hit her when she was just in high school. Clarkson explained to the outlet that throughout high school, she "always auditioned for things" and "worked really hard at the vocal stuff." Clarkson, however, "didn't get this part that I was going for, and somebody that got it was very beautiful and very not good at what they were doing."

"It was a hard lesson to learn, because I kept asking my mother, 'I did everything right. I worked so hard and it’s just because of my aesthetics,'" she recalled. "I went into this very depressed state for a few months of my high school life. It seems so silly now as an adult thinking back, but when you're a kid, those things are so fundamental and so huge."


Although Clarkson would endure similar moments throughout her career, she said that it was landing a role as a coach on Season 18 of The Voice that gave her a major confidence boost. At her "heaviest point," she said that "Paul hired me from NBC because he loved my personality, he loved that I connect with people and I'm really raw and real." She said that "it had nothing to do with my sex appeal or my look aesthetically. It had to do with me as a person."

Clarkson is set to return as a coach on the NBC singing competition for Season 19.