While one might assume the video for Kelly Clarkson‘s ‘Dark Side’ would find the singer showing her dark side to a lover, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In the clip for her latest single, Clarkson mixes performance footage with socially conscious commentary and critique. But she doesn’t smash you over the head with a message. She’s not soapboxing it. Instead, it’s subtle and therefore much more effective, making the viewer think.

Clarkson factors prominently into the vid, performing up close, wearing a pink, off-the-shoulder top and not much makeup. She looks plain and normal, like the girl next door who deals with the same issues you do. She’s later under a bridge in a seedy part of town, in a long black gown, singing her heart out, as we saw in the behind-the-scenes footage.

As for the topical scenes, a young man carries a box of belongings after losing his job while headlines about job figures flashes on screen. A beautiful redhead tape measures her belly, suggesting body dysmorphic viewpoint and a handsome teen is bullied and beaten while people stand and watch.

Other characters have problems with pills, alcohol and marriage. The video eloquently shows that we all have dark sides, but that’s just one side and not the whole story. It doesn’t make up a person’s identity. Dark sides are just one of the many factors that make us who we are! No one is perfect and our flaws make us interesting. Miss Clarkson helps us realize that with her smart video.

Watch the Kelly Clarkson ‘Dark Side’ Video

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