With news that American Idol will come to an endÂ after its 15th season (set to run in January), itâs hard not to get nostalgic for the first season, the one that catapulted Kelly Clarkson to fame (and gave us From Justin to Kelly to ridicule from now until forever). Of course, there have been other stand-out stars with careers launched by Idol: Jennifer Hudson and Carrie Underwood come to mind. But even though Underwood recently surpassed her as the most successfulÂ Idol winner, Clarkson will always be able to say she was the first.
And thankfully, for us first-generation fans, she continues to pump out hits. Just a fewÂ months ago she released her sixth studio album, Piece By Piece. And there's more: During the press to promote the new album, Clarkson was bullied both online and on TVÂ about her body, but the way she responded to it basically turned her into a body-positivity icon.
Here, fiveÂ of her best quotes that make us love her even more, and help us "stand a little taller" in our own bodies, too.
On not caring what people think
When British TV personality Katie Hopkins tweeted, among other terrible things, âDid she eat all her backing singers? Happily I have wide-screen,â Clarkson, who'd given birth to a daughter months earlier, responded, in an interview with Heatworld.com:
âSheâs tweeted something nasty about me? Thatâs because she doesnât know me. Iâm awesome!Â It doesnât bother me. Itâs a free world. Say what you will."
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On how itâ€™s normal for weight to fluctuate
âWe are who we are. Whatever size. And it doesnât mean that weâre gonna be that foreverâ¦ Sometimes weâre more fit. Like especially me, Iâm such a creative person that I yo-yo. Sometimes Iâm more fit and I get into kickboxing hardcore. And then sometimes I donât, and Iâm likeâ¦'Iâd rather have wine,ââ Clarkson said last month on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
On not getting into the comparison game
Also on Ellen's couch during that same visit, Clarkson said: âYeah, I was the biggest girl on [American Idol], too. And I wasnât big, but people would call me big because I was the biggest one onÂ Idol, and Iâve kind of always gotten that.
âI think what hurts my feelings… is that Iâll have a meet-and-greet after the show and a girl whoâs, like, bigger than me will be in the meet-and-greet and be like, âWow, if they think youâre big, I must be so fat to them.â And it's like, 'you're just who you are.'â
On keeping a healthy mindset
"I don't obsess about my weight, which is probably one of the reasons why other people have such a problem with it," Clarkson told Redbook in April.
On focusing on what matters
"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 familyâI don't seek out any other acceptance," Clarkson told Heatworld.com