Kelly Clarkson covers the August issue of Lucky, showing off that svelte, hard-earned new figure in skintight jeans and a cropped red blazer, which she paired with her usual light brown hair. Clarkson actually lightened to blonde last month, but she looks gorgeous either way. In this spread, she comes off as a normal gal and that's just how she prefers it. She's Kelly Clarkson: Anti-Pop Star.

Even more standout in the cover shot is her ear-to-ear grin, an "accessory" that is no doubt a result of her new relationship with Brandon Blackstock, who is the stepson of country queen Reba McEntire. Clarkson wears her smile well. Yeah, love'll do that to ya.

The slimmed down 'Stronger' singer also sounds better than ever as she sings her heart out each week on 'Duets,' the reality singing competition of the summer.

In the feature, Clarkson is adamant that while she jockeys for position on the charts with elaborately costumed divas like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, Clarkson isn't interested in battling them in the style department by donning beef jerky dresses or lollipop bras. She said, "Even though I'm a pop singer, I really have more the life of a country singer." That is, she dresses down and is more about engaging in slices of real life as opposed to always being "on" or putting on a show for fans, even when offstage.

Despite the pressure that female pop stars deal with to be thin and to stand out via outrageous outfits, as opposed to honing their voice or talent, Clarkson isn't caving. She says, "The hardest thing about being in this business is just being able to be yourself. People act like there’s this one set of rules to follow to be a pop star, and I think, 'Well, you say I’m a pop star, so maybe that’s not true.'”

Pop or not, Kelly the rule breaker rocks our world to the core.

As for fashion and beauty, which are cornerstones of the pop world image, Clarkson isn't having any of those dangerous, dagger-like nails that Gaga and Rihanna favor. She's following a simpler routine. "I just blow-dry my hair and put on mascara and lip gloss, and I'm ready to go." She admits that the knife-like nails elude her, saying, "I really don't get long nails. They’re so Edward Scissorhands."