Inspirational women: Kelly Clarkson

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Kelly Clarkson has recently made a comeback after some well-earned time off to start a family. Whether you like her music or not, it’s hard to deny that she’s got an incredible voice – and she always seems SO nice and genuine along with it.

So I was really sad when last week she was the target of several bullying comments aimed at her because of her size. She’s always had a yo-yo weight issue which she openly admits – and coming into the public eye having just had a baby means she’s understandably a little heavier than she might like to be. Either way, she’s still beautiful!!

Unfortunately there’s a few others who (maybe they’re jealous) have overlooked her musical talent and the fact that she has just had a baby to poke holes in her with vicious ‘fat’ comments. First to wade in was public hate figure Katie Hopkins – who in fairness has probably offended every single person in this country and abroad with her racist, sexist, fattist and generally unkind comments. She felt the need to hit out at Kelly on Twitter, suggesting she had ‘eaten all of her backing singers.’ She also made out that having a baby a year ago ‘was no excuse’ for being ‘fat’.

Then two American radio hosts made cruel remarks about how she ‘blew up’ and should ‘stay off the deep dish pizza’ live on air (she just had a BABY???). They’ve since apologised sincerely – but really the damage has already been done for millions on insecure women who are vulnerable after having a child and feel fat and ugly. Nice one guys.

The nasty jibes Kelly’s been subjected to this month have been labelled ‘fat-shaming’ by the press. Isn’t ‘fat-shaming’ a horrible word? It almost suggests that it was deserved in some way.

Poor Kelly!

But honestly it looks like I’m probably more upset about this whole fiasco than she is. She (quite rightly) said:

“It doesn’t bother me. It’s a free world. Say what you will. I’ve just never cared what people think. It’s more if I’m happy and I’m confident and feeling good, that’s always been my thing. And more so now, since having a family—I don’t seek out any other acceptance.”

Amen!! I’m glad Kelly has this level of confidence but for many of us that’s just not a reality – and these comments would have really stung.

If you’re being bullied or if you ever have anyone make an unkind comment about you – remember – your life is nothing to do with them. Their motive for trying to make you feel bad about yourself says more about them than it does about you – it’s probably the result of their own jealousy or insecurity – or perhaps they’re just stupid!! Either way, know you’re beautiful as you are just like Kelly, and that there’s much, much more to you than how you look.

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Inspirational Woman – Monica Bellucci

For me, Monica Bellucci is femininity defined. Like the quintessential ‘Madonna’ figure in the beautiful murals of Caravaggio and Michaelangelo, she is sensual and demure, exquisitely expressive and passive all in one.

What’s more, she is not afraid to be herself. Unapologetic, many of her images in her heydey were nudes. Sprawled in front of the camera, with a wry half-smile or a piercing glare dominating the image, it’s still impossible not to notice her figure.  But voluptuous Bellucci is not a stick insect. She is a woman with imperfections, yet this is what makes her so perfect for me.

Not only does she refuse to conform or comply with ‘rules’ on body image and a desire to be perfect, her attitude to life is also unique and she feels strongly about beauty not playing  a dominant role in her life, despite being imbroiled in an industry which is centered around it.

My favourite quote from Monica has to be this one:

“I know many beautiful people and their lives are just so terrible. They feel so uncomfortable with themselves. Being comfortable is not about what you look like, but how you feel.”

This rings true for me because often, those who are the most insecure are very beautiful, striving constantly for a form of perfection which simply does not exist. It really is so important that you feel comfortable and love yourself, as that way you don’t worry about the opinions and expectations of others.

In addition to this, how many of us have ‘fat days’ – when you feel ugly and huge and nothing is right? You stare vehemently at your ‘imperfections’ in the mirror, and berate yourself inside for not paying more attention to your appearance. The next day however, you could be on top of the world. Those imperfections which were so mortifying just 12 hours ago now seem to have disappeared. This proves the power of the mind – and that it really is down to how you feel, and not how you actually look, that determines happiness.

Isn’t this a running theme that these women are all beautiful, in completely different ways; yet what they all have in common is their incredible hunger for life and desire to live it to the full, without being shackled to an obsession with appearance.

Enjoy Monica in all her glory below:

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Inspirational Woman – Lizzie Miller

This is Lizzie. These images of the model were featured in Glamour magazine in an article on self-confidence. Previously she’d been informed that she was ‘too large’ for plus size. Now her agency have instructed her ‘not to lose any weight’. These beautiful un-photoshopped images instantly gained popularity with readers, who flooded Glamour’s website with a deluge of praise for the model. The surprise here is that Lizzie has a ‘tummy’. Girls I think you’ll all agree that Lizzie is very slim…yet just the inclusion of a tiny roll of skin or fat has got real women everywhere rejoicing. We want to see real, normal women in magazines, not plasticised doll-like creatures. It shows the extent to which images are altered and perfected in the media, so much so that a perfectly beautiful, slim woman is championed for having a tiny bit of tummy.

Again it demonstrates how unaware the public are of how what we see daily as ‘normal’ is actually doctored and tampered with beyond recognition. If adults are so oblivious, what effect is this all having on our children?

Personally, I’d like to see more images like this in the media. I didn’t even notice the tummy until it was pointed out to me. Did you? Is it really so important that every lump and bump should be flattened in photoshop before publication?

More than anything, this is proof that trend, money and popularity determine people’s idea of ‘beauty’, not truth.

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