Over the past couple of years, Kelly Clarkson has gone through a major transformation, breaking through her American Idol (2002) cast to find her own voice and style. The change, however, did not come easy and the singer recalls the mental and emotional pressure she had to undergo before making the big move.
"I was around some really negative people, and I got out of it because I had a lot of great people there too," she recalled of her battle for creative control, in an interview with Attitude. "It was a case of turning around, facing them and walking toward the light."
Along with the restrictions of the kind of music she created, Clarkson was also forced to focus on her appearance and weight, to the point that it drove her towards considering suicide. "When I was really skinny, I wanted to kill myself," she said. "I was miserable, like inside and out, for four years of my life. But no one cared, because aesthetically you make sense."
Describing that period as a "very dark time", she explained that quitting seemed the only solution. "I wrecked my knees and my feet because all I would do is put in headphones and run. I was at the gym all the time," she recalled.
Since 2006, Clarkson has given up on trying to maintain her skinny look and now focuses on having a positive body image instead. At 35, she is married to Brandon Blackstock and shares two children with him — three-year-old daughter River Rose, and one-year-old son Remington Alexander.
During a recent interview with People magazine, she explained that she now tries to inculcate a positive self image in her children as well. "Even from a young age, I think you should instil that people, your children, should always stand up for themselves or speak out when something is wrong."
The Stronger hitmaker is currently promoting her eighth studio album, Meaning Of Life that is set to release on 27 October.
The Samaritans provides a free support service for those who need to talk to someone in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Visit Samaritans.org or call 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Visit this website to find a support phone number in your country.