What doesn't kill you makes you stronger ... and wiser!
After learning a few lessons of her own from being bullied, Kelly Clarkson's wisdom came in handy recently when her stepdaughter, 16-year-old Savannah, informed the 35-year-old singer she was on the receiving end of some nasty put-downs from a "grown-a** woman (who) was being horrible to her."
"I said, 'This is gonna happen so often, so this would be a good time to learn to take the high road,'" Clarkson explained in a candid new interview with PrideSource.com. "'Block them or whatever you want to do to not see it, if you don’t want to see it.' Bullying is gonna happen, so we tell our kids, 'That’s gonna happen. I can’t protect you from that. There’s nothing we can do about that. There are no bullying cops.'"
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"It’s an epidemic that’s horrible and it needs to be addressed," the American Idol alum added. "But at the same time, when you have kids coming to you, I just have to teach her to rise above it."
When fans recognize Clarkson's own confidence during meet-and-greets, she imparts that same kind of disregard for the haters.
"At the end of the day, I really don’t care about anyone’s opinion but mine and the people I know who love me and really do want the best for me," she explained. "You can’t base your entire existence and every decision off how people are gonna feel about it. That’s a giant check list; there’s a lot of us. (Laughs) So, just be happy with your decisions, and sometimes know you’re gonna be successful and sometimes you’re gonna fail. And whatever. At least you were steering your ship."
Elsewhere, the mother-of-four kept it real regarding the many parent-to-kid conversations she's been having with her children regarding white supremacists ("I had no idea we had white supremacists; I have never come across people like that") and other current headline-making racial and political occurrences.
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"I don’t know what to tell them when they hear certain things on TV," Clarkson said. "They're smart enough to know what’s going on. I can’t hide them from that. So, it’s a very hard time to explain things away. It’s a very hard time to have the discussion about any kind of bigotry or racism or elitism. It’s a very hard time because a lot of things are happening that are making crazy, insane, irrational moments normal, and it’s a very hard time to raise kids in that environment."
The always-outspoken singer opened up about her critics who say she should just shut up and sing, which Clarkson refuses to do because, she explains, "forget me even being a celebrity. As a mother -- just as a mother -- it’s a very hard time."
She elaborated: "The hard thing for me, specifically: I always hate when people bring up, 'Oh, you’re a celebrity, you shouldn’t have an opinion.' The hard thing in that for me is, I’m not just that. I’m a mother, I’m a daughter, I’m a woman. And it took a long time and a lot of women to pioneer that way for me, to even have a voice. So, for me to not use that is so disrespectful to those before me who worked so hard for it. For me to not take advantage of that seems like a cruel irony."
"Why would I not voice my opinion as a mother?" she added. "Why can’t I say this is a really hard time to have a 10- and 16-year-old, guys?"
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Whether she's dishing on the real reason she doesn't sing her 2002 Idol winning song "A Moment Like This" anymore ("They just wrote it for whomever was gonna win, so that doesn’t make me feel special," she told PrideSource) or what she learned from getting to know RCA head Clive Davis ("We don’t always need to meet our heroes"), Clarkson says she can't imagine not speaking her mind.
"I have to express myself," she said. "Literally, I would go in such a spiral downward spiral of just depression if I weren’t able to, and that’s why, honestly, a lot of friends, especially who are gay and lesbian felt that way. I pray to God my children never have to feel that, that people around me don’t have to feel that. I always hope that I’m always the one person going well, 'If they’re upset about it, screw it. It’s your life. You can’t not be you. You can’t suffer just because you’re trying to make somebody else happy. That’s not a life.'"
She added that it makes her "so mad, more than anything" when parents disown their children for being LGBT, because, for Clarkson, it's personal.
"I want to tell (those parents), 'I didn’t have a dad and it had nothing to do with me being gay -- it had to do with, he was a sh***y guy,'" she revealed. "'And you have the opportunity now to not be that parent and embrace your child. That’s your DNA. You love your children. What’s wrong with you?'”
In 2015, Clarkson said that if one of her own kids came out to her she'd say, “Awesome! When do we meet him or her?" During this most recent interview, she emphasized her unconditional love for her children yet again, saying, "Honestly, in a world that is so hateful sometimes, I don’t care where my kids find love. Hopefully with a loving and respectful and kind person, but I don’t care if they’re a boy or a girl. It just doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to me."
Read the full interview here, and see more about Kelly's amazing relationship with her husband in the video below!