Kate Upton and Kelly Clarkson Bonded Over Breastfeeding and Body Positivity
On Clarkson's new talk show, the two moms dished about what it's really like going through motherhood in the public eye.
When celebrity moms openly talk about what it's like to be a parent—from pregnancy struggles to life with little ones—it helps regular moms everywhere feel a little less alone in what they might be going through.
Earlier this week, Kate Upton stopped by The Kelly Clarkson Show to chat with the newly-minted talk show host about all things parenthood.
The two spoke candidly about several topics, from breastfeeding, to body positivity during and after pregnancy, and everything in between. (Related: Why Kate Upton Is More Focused On Her Strength Gains Than Losing Weight)
On the topic of breastfeeding, Clarkson and Upton found quite a lot of common ground. Both mamas agreed that "pumping is the worst," with the American Idol alum adding: "It's so painful, I don't care what anyone says."
Clarkson even recalled a time when she was breastfeeding while working and discovered that someone accidentally threw away a bottle with a "tiny bit" of her breast milk left in it. "I went in my closet and just collapsed on the floor and was crying. I was like, 'You have no idea how hard I worked for that!'" Clarkson shared. "And really, there was like nothing in the bottle; I'm crazy. But, literally, it's just a hormonal period. I don't think people take that into account, especially when we're women in the public eye. It is a hard time." (Related: How Kelly Clarkson Learned That Being Thin Isn't the Same As Being Healthy)
"Our energy is literally being sucked out of us [when we're breastfeeding]," Upton added. "So you don't feel like yourself. It is so difficult and something people need to talk about more."
Upton also opened up to Clarkson about her recent cover shoot for Health's September issue, in which she posed completely unretouched six months after having her baby daughter, Genevieve—making her the first unretouched cover star in the magazine's history.
The 27-year-old supermodel admitted that she was still breastfeeding during the cover shoot, revealing that she was "freaking out" since it was "stressful" for everyone on set, including her glam team, who knew there wouldn't be an opportunity to edit even little details in the photos, like a bruise on Upton's leg, for example.
Upton explained, though, that it was important for her to power through the shoot regardless of the chaos. "We're on Instagram all the time, and we see people Photoshopping everything," she told Clarkson. "When does it end? When you're scrolling on Instagram, you constantly compare yourself to these other people, and for me, I wanted us to take a step back and show a real moment of someone who is actually six months postpartum and be that real person and real influence for other people." (Related: Every Photo In This Desigual Swimsuit Campaign Is Unretouched)
But even before Upton's Health cover shoot, the model regularly received unfair commentary on her body, Clarkson pointed out.
"When [the criticism] was first happening, it was really hard," Upton shared. "I was like, 'I work out all the time, why is everyone calling me fat?'"
These days, though, "the conversation has completely changed," Upton said. "That just shows how the industry's changing, how our voice matters, and things can change. We mean something. We can change something." (Related: Kelly Clarkson Says She Feels Sexier Than Ever After Marriage and Kids)
Upton then shared that because of her inspiring Health cover, she's now started her own body-positive Instagram hashtag, #ShareStrong, to create a community for women where they can share their real selves and what motivates them to be strong.
ICYDK, both celebs and regular folks alike have taken to Instagram with Upton's hashtag, sharing everything from no-makeup selfies to shots of motherhood in action. "It's so great to go on that hashtag and get inspiration from all these other women because we're so strong, and to be able to share in each other's strength is what makes women so amazing," Upton told Clarkson.
The supermodel said that her "#ShareStrong" is her daughter: "I want to be the example that she can look up to, and I want to create a happy, healthy world for her to grow up in."
Inspired by Upton's empowering perspective on motherhood, a new mom in the audience named Alex shared her own story on The Kelly Clarkson Show, revealing that she feared the way her body might change during and after pregnancy. But once Alex had her baby girl, she saw Upton's Health cover and her mindset completely changed. "I don't owe anybody 'pretty' or 'perfect' or 'skinny' or anything," a teary-eyed Alex told Upton. "To just be an example for my daughter and to just be someone she can look up to, and be strong for my daughter, is the best thing that I can be." (Related: This Woman's Heartbreaking Confession About Breastfeeding Is #SoReal)
Upton said that it's stories like Alex's that make her work feel truly rewarding.
"It means so much to me. When you hear all the criticism, sometimes you're like 'Why am I doing this?'" Upton said."Stories like that—I realize this is exactly why I'm doing this. We're all in it together. We're all experiencing it together."