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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

Success came fast for Kelly Clarkson, who went from complete unknown to a household name when she got her big break on the first season of "American Idol" in 2002.

As a singer, songwriter and motivated entertainer, she was ready for it.

But the pressure to fit in as a perfect pop princess came just as fast for her, and there was no way to be ready for that.

Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson performs on stage during the CMA 2016 Country Christmas on November 8, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.Rick Diamond / Getty Images

Clarkson, who'd already battled bulimia as a teen, found herself pushed to slim down by music executives, and for a while, she tried to please them.

Then she learned it just wasn't worth it.

"When I was really skinny, I wanted to kill myself," she explained in an interview with U.K. magazine Attitude. "I was miserable, like inside and out, for four years of my life. But no one cared, because aesthetically you make sense."

Kelly Clarkson accepts GRAMMY for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Since U Been Gone"
Kelly Clarkson accepts GRAMMY for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Since U Been Gone"Michael Caulfield Archive / Wireimage

However, thankfully, Clarkson found she cared about herself too much to keep it up.

"I thought the only way out was quitting," she said. "I, like, wrecked my knees and my feet, because all I would do is put in headphones and run. I was at the gym all the time."

Eventually she figured out a better solution than quitting the business. She simply stopped working with the people who pressured her to be someone she wasn't.

Clarkson later clarified her comments in a pair of tweets:

Now Clarkson doesn't hesitate to put someone in their place when they comment about her body and she's teaching her 3-year-old daughter, River Rose, to do the same when it comes to anything that feels wrong.

I said, ‘You tell mommy if somebody does anything inappropriate. You stand up for yourself!'" she recently told People.