How do we love thee, Kelly Clarkson? Let us count the ways.
We here at Stylist HQ have long been fans of Clarkson, right from the moment she first belted out A Moment Like This back in 2002. Not only has she released empowering anthem after empowering anthem, but she also has a hilarious sense of humour and a seriously down-to-earth attitude, too.
It makes sense, then, that Clarkson is now a coach on The Voice. That she landed her own TV show just last year. And that earlier this week it was announced she will temporarily be filling in for America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell as he recovers from a back injury.
Releasing a statement on Twitter confirming the news, Clarkson wrote: “My friend Simon Cowell is doing better now but was in an accident and won’t be able to make Tuesday and Wednesday’s live shows for AGT.”
“No worries America, someone far wiser, cooler and hotter is taking his seat,” she continued cheekily. “The unbelievably amazing Kelly Clarkson!
“You’re welcome in advance.”
Naturally, Clarkson and AGT fans alike flocked to celebrate the news on social media.
“So ready for this,” wrote one.
“No better person to cover his spot than you,” added another.
And still one more tweeted: “My two favourite things? Kelly Clarkson and people with amazing talent. And it’s [an added] bonus [that] it’s all in one show!”
As is always the case with high-profile social media accounts, though, Clarkson isn’t just followed by fans: there’s a troll (or five) in the mix, too. And one such troll crawled out from under their bridge to use Clarkson’s announcement against her.
How? By insisting her continued career success is to blame for her divorce from Brandon Blackstock, of course.
Clinging to the outdated notion that career success is a male drama in which women must do their best in a supporting role, the tweet in question reads: “No wonder her marriage didn’t work. Surprised she has time for her kids!
“[She’s] not the good old country girl we fell in love with. It’s all about Kelly being on TV, and no one else.”
Refusing to let anyone shame her for making a name and forging a path for herself, though, Clarkson was quick to respond to the spiteful tweet.
“Wow,” she wrote. “Shaming a woman who has a great work ethic, is a great mom, and who steps up and fills in when a friends asks for a favor because that’s actually what ‘good old country girls’ do? This can’t be who you are deep down.”
Clarkson finished: “I have more faith in your heart. Aim higher please.”
It should go without saying (but here I am, saying it anyway) that a couple can call time on their relationship at any point, and for any number of reasons. For all those lucky enough not to have been through a breakup of their own, please remember that it’s hardly ever a decision that is made lightly, and we shouldn’t inflict our own narrative on the situation.
Clarkson and Blackstock, and only Clarkson and Blackstock, know what really happened between them. As such, we should assume that both have decided that they will be happier apart in the long run. What we shouldn’t do, what we should never do, is look for a way to blame Clarkson’s career for the situation.
Why? Well, not only does it feed into an outdated and toxic narrative around women in the workplace, but it also suggests that a woman’s place is in the home as a helpmeet to her husband. That her career should come second to that, always. And that the success of a marriage is based upon her hard work and sacrifice alone.
It’s 2020. Aren’t we better than this already?