What doesn’t kill Kelly Clarkson makes her stronger — she marches on and makes the best of what she’s got. The positivity from the original “American Idol” continues to flow out from her fifth studio album, Stronger, as she tackles relevant issues taking their toll on people’s emotional health — from unemployment to substance abuse — in her latest music video for “Dark Side.” Watch her turn frowns upside-down after the jump!
+ WATCH: Kelly Clarkson “Dark Side“
Almost 10 years after Christina Aguilera’s infamous video for “Beautiful,” Kelly reminds us: no one is perfect, we all have flaws and we all have struggles — and, although sometimes it is hard to believe, someone out there does see your worth, your beauty, and all that makes you, YOU. Amiright, though Kelly!? As Ms. Clarkson belts out, “Everybody has a dark side… Nobody else is picture perfect, but we’re worth it.” These pop princesses know how ta’ preach!!!
In “Dark Side,” Kelly spotlights a whole new set of individuals (young and old) and their struggles — even spotlighting issues more relevant to today like jobs and veterans issues. In the video, a plus-size beauty queen struggles with her size. We see flashing images of pills — dieting pills, we presume — before she tosses out her sash and crown. Other characters include: a lonely pre-teen girl with a distressed father living out of a motel; an older business man struggling with alcohol; a middle-aged woman caught in an altercation with her husband before looking up a divorce lawyer in the phone book. But don’t fret, Kelly manages to make everyone smile and beam with happiness by video’s end.
Looking to put a smile on a friend’s face to show them that they’re worth it? Here are a few ways, based on the other scenarios from “Dark Side:”
+ Thin girl struggling with her weight.
The eating disorder stats — especially for women, and increasingly for young men — are staggering. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia in the United States.
But on the bright side: Eating disorders can be prevented! It’s one thing to understand (a) what an eating disorder is in order to avoid it, but it’s another to understand (b) our society’s obsession with being thin and the roles we play in objectifying each other — both are equally important to understand. So listen to your body, and not what our silly society says. Join other youth spreading a positive message at WeStopHate.
+ Bullied & harassed youth.
Bullying and harassment affects wayyyy too many young people — specifically LGBT youth, youth with disabilities, and socially isolated youths. Students avoid school in order to get away from it, grades decline, emotional and mental health take a hit — simply nothing good comes from it, yet it happens day in and day out. And it increasingly happens online, too. Hiding behind a computer screen and posting hurtful things is just as damaging.
But on the bright side: It gets better. You were born this way. And love is louder. The messages are all out there, but we must all continue to do our part to put an end to bullying. Bullying is preventable! If you see someone getting bullied, tell an adult immediately. It takes one person to make a difference in someone’s life. Here’s a few tips on how to talk about bullying, and be sure to visit A Thin Line for ways on how to draw your line between digital use and abuse.
+ Jobless young black man.
In this economy, it can be a drag for any young person looking for a job. However, according to the April 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, unemployment rate for Black teens (ages 16 to 19) is 34.1 percent — a rate more than 12 percent higher than their white counterparts (21.7 percent).
But on the bright side: The unemployment rate for Black teens is down 3.4 percent from April 2011 to April 2012, a bigger drop compared to the overall unemployment rate which is down 1 percent, from 8.7 in April 2011 to 7.7 in April 2012. Still part of the 7.7 percent without a job? DoSomething.org offers Summer Jobless grants you can apply for through July 10th. The grants help you organize other young teens to volunteer while unemployed — keeping you busy through the summer, while gaining valuable leadership and service experience!
+ War veteran.
There has been significant news coverage of the emotional and physical injuries that veterans deal with as a result of working in a war zone. As more and more members of the armed forces head home, the more and more we hear about PTSD and other issues. And as if acclimation to civilian life wasn’t hard enough, many veterans are struggling to find jobs when back in the states.
But on the bright side: Almost 75% of 18-29 year olds personally know someone who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and you can help as they return home. As these brave veterans come home, it is important that we all do our part to understand their perspective and help in their transition back into civilian life, especially since many of these veterans will be starting or returning to college for the first time. Despite the sacrifices they have made, these veterans aren’t looking for special treatment — they just want the opportunity to do well as students and have a good experience.
If you know or attend school with a veteran, the best thing you can do is help them have a normal experience, let them decide how much they want to discuss or emphasize their service, and be patient as they acclimate to their new routine. For stories from veterans themselves and resources for you or a veteran, visit Half Of Us.
And remember, at the end of the day, you are beautiful no matter what they say. Or as we’re now saying, everyone has a dark side, no one else is picture perfect, but we’re worth it. You do you, boo.
If you or a friend needs immediate help, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Tackle Your Dark Side
Visit HalfofUs.org for resources on tackling our toughest troubles.
Join Love Is Louder
Upload your image of hope to the Love Is Louder Facebook page as a show of support for putting an end to bullying.