Summer doesn’t really end for a few more weeks, but Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of the season in the U.S. It’s time for kids to go back to school and, I figured, a good time for me to look through the summer’s draft blog posts to delete anything that’s grown stale.
That’s when I realized I’ve had a Kelly Clarkson weight story kicking around since the singer got a bunch of magazine covers touting her slimmer shape in June. Happily, a story about Clarkson’s fluctuating weight is timeless because the press always has its collective eye on the poor gal’s waistline. In November, for instance, I wrote a post called “Sucks to be Kelly Clarkson” after the New York Times ran “Kelly Clarkson, a Pop Star Proud in Her Own Skin,” about Clarkson’s girl-next-door qualities. The Times interviewed Courtney E. Martin, author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters, who said:
“There’s so much talk about Taylor Swift being the girl next door … but she’s tall and blond, the girl that the girl next door wants to be. But with Kelly, you sense that she really is the girl next door. She acknowledges more complexity than most stars talk about.
“For any woman to not only own her body size at an average woman’s weight is amazing, let alone to own weight gain without shaming and stigmatizing it publicly. It’s a difficult line to walk because Kelly’s private. She doesn’t want to be known as the fat activist pop star. That’s not her mantle.”
Even though the attention being paid to her weight in that story was positive, it seemed burdensome to me. I wouldn’t want people looking at my body in order to make themselves feel better (or worse). I wondered:
“What if Kelly develops a passion for triathlons and becomes a total hard body?”
I was close! Kelly didn’t take up triathlons — but she did get into boot-camp cardio, strength-training, a healthier diet and portion control that helped her lose either 30 lbs. (according to US Magazine’s four-page cover story) or 40 lbs. (according to Life & Style, which only gave her two pages. Bitches!). As you can see from the cover of US, a new romance proved inspiring.
This isn’t something the magazine made up. Clarkson credited her talent-manager fella Brandon Blackstock herself. While promoting her singing-competition show, Duets, in a May conference call, she said, “I have a boyfriend, and if I’m being completely honest, no one likes to be not toned when you are dating someone,” reported People. She got a cover from Redbook too.
True to her past statements about weight, her message continues to be about self-acceptance; she’s not getting into thinspiration territory. Clarkson told Redbook, “Really, what I try to instill in my fans is to be healthy and happy. I have no desire to be super-skinny.”
No charge for the idea, Kelly!