Kelly Clarkson — mom of two and stepmom of two — opened up to PEOPLE about parenting for this year's The Beautiful Issue

By Jessica Fecteau
April 19, 2018 12:00 PM
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Kelly Clarkson says there are more things people can tell young girls instead of commenting on their looks.

The singer and Voice coach opened up to PEOPLE for this year’s The Beautiful Issue, explaining that girls are often taught to be called things like “pretty” and “beautiful” through princess movies.

“I’m not one of those people that’s like, ‘I hate princesses.’ I think they’re awesome, I know all the songs,” Clarkson says. “But I make a point to always say other adjectives. It’s not always like, ‘Oh, you look beautiful.’ It’s like, ‘Man, you’re so rad,’ ‘You’re stylish,’ ‘You’re cool,’ ‘You’re unique.’ ”

Peggy Sirota

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The 35-year-old singer says this is something that’s especially important to her when it comes to her own daughter and stepdaughter — River Rose, 3½, and Savannah, 16, respectively.

“Especially our oldest girl, she’s like model-worthy gorgeous,” Clarkson says. “You know all the things that she is, but maybe not everybody says all the time because she’s captivating.”

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She adds, “Anytime our little girl — our 3-year-old — walks in, everybody’s like, ‘You’re so pretty!’ I don’t mind her being pretty, I don’t mind people saying it, but I don’t want her to get boxed into that.”

“I feel like sometimes that happens with girls. I always say ‘cool’ and ‘fun,’ and we use different adjectives,” Clarkson shares. “I make a point to do that.”

For more from our Beautiful Issue, pick up the magazine when it hits newsstands on Friday and check out all of our coverage on PEOPLE.com.

Peggy Sirota

RELATED VIDEO: How Kelly Clarkson Is Raising Her “Ballsy” 3-Year-Old Daughter to Be “Kind” and “Brave”

Clarkson says her husband Brandon Blackstock is also on board with encouraging traits aside from looks. “It’s not all about that at the end,” she says. “My husband and I are really blunt with our kids and I’m like, ‘Pretty fades, character lasts.’ Being fun lasts, being a good human matters and being smart is important.”

“We’re pretty blunt, we’re probably hard on them, but it’s fine,” adds the American Idol champ. “I think people are too easy now. My parents were hard on me — or my mom was — and look, I turned out fine. I’m fine.”