Austin bombings: Dead suspect identified as 23-year-old man

Clarkson’s talent, not weight, should be focus

As someone who has dealt with weight issues her entire life, I found myself enraged by all the headlines lately about singer Kelly Clarkson. This gifted young woman from Texas should be lauded for her amazing voice and positive outlook, but instead she’s been the subject of ridicule about her weight.

She took the first American Idol crown 13 years ago and even then, although she was by far the most talented, she recently told Ellen DeGeneres her looks were an issue. “I was the biggest girl in the show,” she said. “And I wasn’t big, but people would call me big. Because I was the biggest one on ‘Idol,’ I’ve kind of always gotten that.”

I can relate.

I’ll never forget having to shop in the “husky” girls section at Sears because I couldn’t wear all the cute stuff smaller girls did. Or the group weigh-ins during in high school. The teacher would call your weight out loud in front of everyone. As if that wasn’t humiliating enough, she would say, “You need to eat healthier, Nance.” Maybe she thought it was tough love, but for a teenage girl, it was an excuse to avoid mirrors and forever feel like the “big girl.”

A few years ago, Clarkson married Reba McEntire’s step-son, Brandon Blackstock, and last year gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, River Rose. Guess what? She gained baby weight. Duh. Guess what else? She’s fine with how she looks now.

So why do some folks feel the need to make it a big deal? How does your weight affect your talent, ability and integrity? A listener sent me an email several years ago fat shaming me, saying I have a “certain image to uphold” and how could I “feel good looking like you do?” Obviously, the older you get, the more you realize those people have bigger issues than you do. I’m not nearly at the same level of celebrity as Clarkson, but when I saw these stories, all those old demons came back.

In February, British TV personality Katie Hopkins (who?) tweeted, “Jesus, what happened to Kelly Clarkson? Did she eat all of her backing singers? Happily I have wide-screen.” She added, “Darling, if you had a baby a year ago, that is not baby weight. It is fat. Quit calling it cute names to make yourself feel better.” Ouch. Clarkson let it slide, telling Heat magazine, “That’s because she doesn’t know me. I’m awesome! It doesn’t bother me. It’s a free world. Say what you will.”

It wasn’t long after that Fox News anchor Chris Wallace commented, “she could lay off the deep dish pizza for a while.” After a massive backlash, he quickly backtracked via US Magazine. “I sincerely apologize to Kelly Clarkson for my offensive comment. I admire her remarkable talent and that should have been the focus of any discussion about her.”

True to the class act that she is, while on Ellen, she didn’t address the Wallace remarks.

“It’s like, you’re just who you are,” Clarkson said. “We are who we are. Whatever size, and it doesn’t mean that we’re gonna be that forever… So sometimes I’m more fit and I get into kickboxing hardcore. And then sometimes I don’t, and I’m like … I’d rather have wine.”

Just like everybody else.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

It’s almost Opening Day — for local outdoor trails

Winding through the woods or meandering through the metropolitan landscape, the expansive network of local trails provides recreational opportunities for everyone from hard-core hikers to casual cyclists. April 7 marks the Rails to Trails Conservancy Opening Day for Trails, a nationwide celebration in its sixth year. The Conservancy’s mission...
Shooting victim found in vehicle at Butler Twp. hotel
Shooting victim found in vehicle at Butler Twp. hotel

A shooting victim was found in a vehicle in the parking lot of America’s Best Value Inn on Miller Lane this morning, according to police. The victim was transported to a local hospital and their condition is not known. Police discovered the vehicle around 9:30 a.m. Officers said they believe the shooting may have occurred in Dayton on Bently...
Lawsuit alleges Moraine police conspired in Dayton man’s deadly shooting
Lawsuit alleges Moraine police conspired in Dayton man’s deadly shooting

A wrongful death civil lawsuit has been filed in the October Moraine police officer-involved fatal shooting of a Dayton man. The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court by the estate of Jamarco McShann alleges a conspiracy and misconduct involving several Moraine police officers. RELATED: Group rallies for man shot, killed by Moraine police “Defendant...
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases

COMMON PLEAS COURT NEW SUITS 18-CV-0153 - Jennifer R. Laudermilt, 3290 E. National Road, v. Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Columbus, and Tech II, Inc., 3100 Upper Valley Pike, notice of appeal. 18-CV-0154 - myCUmortgage, LLC, Beavercreek, v. Lisa M. Smith, 1585 Highland Ave., et al., complaint in foreclosure for $64,195. 18-DP-0169 - Payton...
WATCH: Here’s what happened when a bus full of nuns and protesters showed up at the Butler County Jail
WATCH: Here’s what happened when a bus full of nuns and protesters showed up at the Butler County Jail

Sister Andrea Koverman isn’t sure if the protests this week in front of county jails that house detained undocumented immigrants will make a difference in calling for reform of the county’s immigration system — but “it’s the right thing for us to do.” Koverman is one of the Ohio Nuns of the Bus who today are wrapping...
More Stories