The song's music video was directed by Autumn de Wilde. It depicts Michaelson dancing with a man (played by Greg Laswell, whom Michaelson would later marry) in a gymnasium where everyone present, except for Michaelson, is a clown or mime. Other dancers glare at Michaelson and she runs from the dance to a bathroom, where she uses lipstick to give her reflection the appearance of a clown nose, and then labels herself a "freak." Her dance partner, a clown, has followed her and embraces her when she emerges from the bathroom. They share a kiss and leave together.
The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #80 on October 4, 2007, and peaked at #37. The single benefited from the exposure through its use in a national television ad campaign for Old Navy sweaters. On the Canadian Hot 100, "The Way I Am" peaked at #51. It has been certified Platinum by the RIAA and has sold 1.6 million copies in the United States.