We live in a society that often equates weight loss with happiness — and where the question, “Have you lost weight?” is offered up as the ultimate compliment. But do we ever stop to consider that we may be overstepping our bounds by assuming someone’s weight loss is intentional, or that it is a positive development for them?
Well, Kelly Clarkson — known and adored for telling it like it is — has some refreshing things to say about weight and happiness, and it’s giving us even more reasons to love her. The talented singer revealed in a recent interview with Redbook that she is fact not at her happiest when she is “skinny.”
“For me, when I’m skinny is usually when I’m not doing well,” she stated. Clarkson has grown tired of shaming comments that are disguised as concerns for “her health,” and she’s not afraid to call them out. “No one actually cares about your health. They just care about aesthetics.”
She has a valid point, especially when it comes to online comments, where people feel free to remark on someone’s body and then try to soften it with the disclaimer that they are really concerned for that person’s well-being. The thing is, it is never OK to play doctor and assume you know what is healthy for another person.
“It’s when I’m fat that I’m happy,” Clarkson said. “People think, ‘Oh, there’s something wrong with her. She’s putting on weight.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, no! I’m sorry, but that represents happiness in my emotional world.’”
I can relate to her on this. There was a time after the birth of my third child where depression entered my world, and one of the medications I took to treat it had an unforeseen side effect — weight loss. It was a dark time of my life, and yet many people were congratulating me on my “new body.” Even when I got down to an unhealthy weight, I was still being celebrated and congratulated.
The thing is, there are many difficult and emotional life situations that may cause someone to lose weight — divorce, loss of a loved one, and illness, just to name a few. It may not be helpful to assume that someone is actively trying to lose weight.
Clarkson isn’t going to let the comments get her down, however. “If you gauge your life on what other people think, you’re going to be in a constant state of panic trying to please everyone,” she wisely advised. “People should just concentrate on their own lives and their own health and their own happiness, and whatever that looks like for you, be happy with it.” Amen to that!
In a world obsessed with body image and perfection, it is so refreshing to have a candid celebrity like Kelly Clarkson remind us not to base our happiness on how we appear to others. After all, reaching our “ideal weight” is not a golden ticket to happiness. It’s also an important reminder that it may be a good idea to filter our comments about other people’s bodies. After all, you never really know what is going on in another person’s life.
Thank you, Kelly, for keeping it real!