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Kelly Clarkson Opens Up About What Weight Gain Means In Hollywood, And How She Broke Her Own Negative Self-Talk Cycle

Kelly Clarkson on The Kelly Clarkson Show.
(Image credit: NBC)

When it comes to celebrities’ weight in the entertainment industry, it has always seemed like size definitely matters. We’ve seen some truly inspirational stories, including Rebel Wilson’s “year of health” and Jessica Simpson hitting the 100-pound loss milestone. And as great as those are, It’s also becoming clearer that the number on the scale doesn’t determine one’s worth. Kelly Clarkson shared her own inspirational thoughts on how she was able to break the negative cycle of always feeling like she had to look a certain way.

Kelly Clarkson welcomed actress Valerie Bertinelli to The Kelly Clarkson Show, where the women got real about the pressures that people face to stay at whatever weight society would deem appropriate. While those ideals are especially prominent in Hollywood, the American Idol winner said the stresses of making her body conform to certain expectations started when she was a little girl. Although it's a terrible thing for a child to experience, she said this allowed her to break through her negative self-talk cycles even before she made it big in the entertainment industry. Clarkson said: 

What I am glad about is I think so many things happened to me when I was young about my weight. I think even at a young age, so many things get said. I think that’s when I was like, ‘Whatever, I’m not going to please anyone.’ I was lucky. It happened before I got in the industry.

Valerie Bertinelli praised the singer for coming to such a matured conclusion much earlier in life than she did. The Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress spent years in a public battle with her weight. Early in the 2000s, she became a spokesperson for Jenny Craig and famously lost 50 pounds, before beginning to gain it back. While she’s come to realize that she is enough just as she is, Bertinelli said her son Wolfgang Van Halen, also has to fight negative self-talk. Kelly Clarkson acknowledged it’s not just women who are under pressure in Hollywood, saying:

In the industry, you’re talking about your son being in the industry, it’s very hard — even for men — to look a certain way and do certain things. It’s just such a silly thing.

It’s a silly thing, sure, but that doesn’t make it any less real for those who struggle. Kelly Clarkson may have learned a lesson about her self-worth early in life, but it only came after going about things in more stress-inducing ways. The fun-loving talk show host has spoken in the past about what her life was like when she was “really skinny.” She recalled a dark time where she said nobody cared about her because she was not “aesthetically pleasing,” saying she spent so much time in the gym that she wrecked her knees from running.

Physical health is important, sure, but when it comes at the expense of mental health, there are definitely changes that need to be made. Today Kelly Clarkson appears to be brimming with confidence, which is part of what makes her an inspiration to her viewers, whether it’s on her talk show or in her past gig of coaching on The Voice. Here's hoping the both of them have helped, and will continue to help, inspire others who don't feel as seen.

While we won’t see her in the Big Red Chairs for Season 22, fans can catch her on The Kelly Clarkson Show, whose fourth season premieres Monday, September 12. Check your local listings for time and channel, and see what other premieres are coming up with our 2022 TV Schedule

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.