Kelly Clarkson and Serena Williams Talk Body Positivity and Clapping Back at Body Shamers
"I try to do it in a comedic way and keep it light. But well, sometimes you just gotta shut 'em down," Kelly Clarkson said of clapping back at trolls
The singer, 38, and the tennis star, 39, opened up about their experiences dealing with body shaming during Williams' recent appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show.
“I’ve always had to stand strong for myself with my body image in the public eye, and I love that you’ve always done that,” Clarkson told Williams. “You are so body positive.”
"I love that you've always done that," the pro athlete responded. "It's so cool. One time I think you went off on somebody. I was like, 'Oh.' I loved you for it."
"Was that the British chick?" Clarkson said, referencing an incident in 2015 when U.K. journalist Katie Hopkins criticized the singer's weight on Twitter. Clarkson responded at the time by telling Heat magazine, “I’m awesome! It doesn’t bother me. It’s a free world. Say what you will.”
"I was like, 'Look, I ain't got time for you over the pond,' " Clarkson told Williams. "I got enough people hating on me over here!"
"You set 'em straight and I was like, 'woah, don't mess with her,' " Williams said.
The "Because of You" songstress then went on to explain to Williams what "fuels" her to stand up against body shaming publicly.
“What makes me mad about it, it's honestly not how it’s said to me — it’s rude and obviously, nobody likes to hear it — but it’s because other women and other little girls are looking out there and they’re bigger than me and they’re going, ‘If they think she's this way, then what does the world think of me?’ " Clarkson said. "The domino effect of that is so detrimental for people’s psyche and especially nowadays with young women on social media ... it's just so hard."
"So that's actually what makes me mad," Clarkson added, " ... That's why I feel like I have to keep talking about it every once in a while and stand up. I try to do it in a comedic way and keep it light. But well, sometimes you just gotta shut 'em down."
"Well I don't think you kept it light," Williams laughed. "That was not light, but whatever you say."
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Clarkson spoke to PEOPLE back in 2017 about how she learned to address any criticism regarding her weight when she rose to fame on American Idol in 2002.
"Even on American Idol I was really thin, but I was bigger than the other girls on the show, so people would say things to me,” the Grammy winner said. “But luckily I am superconfident, so I’ve never had a problem with shutting people down and saying, ‘Yeah, you know, that’s just what I’m rocking. It’s fine.’ ”