“When you’ve soaked in tears for years, it never airs out. When you make pain look this good it never wears out,” sings Kelly on the hook, referring to the fact that she appeared happy in the public eye while struggling with physical abuse and emotional turmoil at home. Although Kelly was jealous of Beyoncé’s success, she also notes that it was Bey who helped her out of a destructive relationship. “Kinda lucky, I was in her shadow,” she sings. “Phone call from my sister, ‘what’s the matter?’ She said, ‘Oh no, baby, you gotta leave!’ I’m on the kitchen floor — he took the keys.”
It’s only human to feel kinda down on yourself when the people around you are doing seemingly better than you are, but if “Dirty Laundry” teaches us one thing, it’s that nothing is ever as it seems. No one suspected Kelly was hurting, but even the people we look up to have problems and insecurities. And dating abuse is more common than you may think. One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a partner.
We applaud Kelly for penning a song about her life struggles, because more people need to know that it’s OK to open up. If you or someone you know is battling internal or external demons they can’t handle on their own, check out MTV’s Half Of Us for help and resources. “Dirty Laundry” is nothing to be ashamed of.
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