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Kelly Clarkson Reveals She’s Been Body-Shamed With Images of Naked Women: ‘You Need to Be Like This!’

Kelly Clarkson’s career is currently on fire, but she says there was a time she was made to feel as though she wouldn’t succeed unless she changed her body. In a candid new interview with Glamour UK, the multi-hyphenate entertainer revealed she was once actually shown magazine covers of naked women to “pressure” her to conform to arbitrary beauty standards.

Speaking with Glamour UK’s Josh Smith, Clarkson recalled the time she felt the most intense scrutiny surrounding her body. “I felt more pressure from people actually when I was thin, when I was really thin and not super healthy because I just was worn out, just working so hard and not keeping healthy habits. But I felt more pressure. It was more of magazines shoved in front of you and, ‘This is what you’re competing with and we’ve got to compete with it,’” she recounted, emphasizing, “Naked! There would be a chick naked on the cover. I’m not joking, literally naked.”

And while Clarkson doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with choosing to be on a magazine cover nude (“It’s a beautiful thing”), the context of why the images were being shown to her was clearly problematic. “I can’t compete with that. That’s not even my image. That’s not who I am. That’s who they are,” she said. “We’re all different and it’s okay.”

Clarkson says she has long since learned to tune out that sort of noise, saying, “Now I just walk in and I just look at them like, ‘I dare you to say something. I’m happy in my life. I’ll work on me in my time!’”

Clarkson has also used her music to explore and foster self-love, something she addresses in her new single “I Dare You.” Asked about how her relationship with that has changed, she admitted it’s a work-in-progress — and important work, at that.

“Until you can love yourself and love who you are, I don’t think that you’re capable of applying it to others,” she said. “You’re just holding yourself back and you’re risking beautiful relationships that you could have with people because you just still haven’t worked out your own damage.”

Before you go, discover some little-known facts about Kelly Clarkson.

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