Christina Aguilera: ‘Entering this business, I hated being super skinny’

aguilera health

I haven’t thought about Christina Aguilera in a while, and I’m so pleased to see that she seems to be happy and healthy at the moment. She covers the latest issue of Health Magazine, and the photoshoot is lovely and flattering. Christina turned 40 years old last December, and her son Max is already 13 years old! Her daughter Summer is 6. Christina chatted with Health about body image and beauty, the pandemic year and a lot more – you can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

The pandemic: “I’d been on the road pounding the pavement for a year and a half. My Vegas residency was wrapping up for a bit right when everything shut down. Before that, I had been bouncing back and forth [touring] in Europe, Mexico, and Vegas. I had taken the kids with me. I’d hit the stage, then come back to the hotel. If the kids were still awake, I’d read them a book after coming off an exhilarating show and then try to wind down before traveling the next day. I felt like a Ping-Pong ball. Then, I was going to be working on new music. So I needed the clock to stop—which is what happened. Some amazing things came to fruition for me.

Taking some time to reflect: “It was a great time to be hunkered down in my house with my kids. I really got a moment to do little things, like be in my backyard, read books that had been on my to-read list, and go through my old diaries. I have this massive trunk of old diaries that I’ve literally kept from the past 20 years of my life. I was able to catch up on them and do some self-reflecting. It really forced me to be silent and take a look at myself… That grind is praised, but I think we’re all understanding that having moments to self-reflect and just breathe are crucial. I’ve been working since I was 7 years old. When I’m not working, there’s a heavy amount of guilt that I feel. It’s been embedded in me since I was little—you’re shamed if you don’t want to keep up. As a child [entertainer], you’re all pitted against one another, and other children are all about that grind too. It’s a weird space to grow up in.”

How the industry has changed: “When I was first becoming successful, there was a different mentality in terms of what was accepted or not accepted by the press and tabloids. There was no social media, so you didn’t have an outlet to speak out on your own. You had to rely on journalists and how they reported on you. A lot of times, I’d read something and say, “Wait, I didn’t say it that way.” I’d feel betrayed. I was still at an age where I was understanding myself and life. Media, at the time, was also big on pitting women against each other. And there was a bullying mentality going on in the tabloids. It’s tough to look back on.

Whether she always felt secure about her body: “I think we all have our good days and our bad days in how we feel about ourselves. Entering this business, I hated being super skinny. Once I turned 21, I started filling out a little bit, and I was loving my new curves. I appreciated having a booty. I’ve always said that women are way more interesting to look at than men! I have a hard time looking at the early pictures of myself because I remember feeling so insecure. I would never want to relive my 20s—you’re so in your own head and finding your confidence. As you age, you stop comparing yourself to other people and start appreciating your own body and owning it.

Her favorite beauty rituals: “I find so much joy in the cleansing process—stripping away all the makeup so it’s just clean skin with some moisturizer, and putting a little feel-good spritzer on my face. And I love a beautiful hot bubble bath with all of my ingredients and oils! I really make it like a nourishing soup in there.

[From Health]

There’s been so much talk about Britney Spears and how the media treated her and the bad energy around her, but Christina was right there too. Maybe Christina didn’t have that kind of “breakdown,” but Christina definitely chafed under the demands of the bubble-gum pop music industry and she was absolutely put through the wringer. As for hating being “super-skinny” – she was probably on a diet from a young age (as a child performer) and “filling out” was her way of reclaiming herself. God, I remember how Christina’s body and look was dissected back then and she was what? Just 19, 20, 21. As for what she says about the pandemic and the time off… I mean, she doesn’t have to say “oh, terrible circumstances, sorry that so many people died,” but damn, she really made it sound like she was living in paradise.

Cover & photos courtesy of Health.

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14 Responses to “Christina Aguilera: ‘Entering this business, I hated being super skinny’”

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  1. Darcy P says:

    I don’t know if it’s the hair color and eyebrows, but her and Julianne Hough look so much like each other.

  2. Seraphina says:

    So many good take aways from this piece.
    First, yes this past year has been rough. Many died and many came close to death. Also, we realized how insanely dim some of friends and family are – whether due to politics or a pandemic. BUT I thank God for some good things too: spending more time at home and being able to enjoy my sofa and cooking and not commuting. As I write this, we have a friend in the hospital for over a month battling COVID – Celebitches – prayers are welcome. He is greatly loved.
    Second, WOW. Poor Christina. I thought she looked great ALWAYS. Goes to show how regardless of your shape being a celebrity leaves very few unscathed.

  3. kgeo says:

    She probably was living in paradise. I’m lucky to be in a position where the pandemic was good for me. I’m very aware that people are suffering. That doesn’t mean my life wasn’t a rat race before. Even as someone that is (maybe?) part of the diminishing middle class, we were stretched thin on money and time. It just felt like everyone was in their own gear forcing the other gears to turn at their speed. I have a few hopes for the post-pandemic. This is over-simplified, but one is that because of many businesses inability to fill positions, there will be a big change in the way people are compensated for their labor. The other is that we will all just be able to slow down. I don’t have much hope for either given that everyone seems to think people are just living the high-life off of $900 a week unemployment not even worrying about what will happen when that’s no longer an option, when in reality it’s $531 max and people were forced to move or look for jobs in other sectors. Ugh. Anyway.

  4. Lola says:

    Christina absolutely did have a breakdown around “Dirrty” where she shed the ingenue image for something a lot more sexual, and a hailstorm of slut shaming came down on her, where she was called crazy, trashy, bipolar, skanky, and many, many other things.

    This was around the time that disgusting Eminem (still can’t understand how he STILL has a free pass after all his disgusting misogynistic / misogynoir acts and behaviors) sexually bullied her through the press and his lyrics claiming she gave him a STI and that she “gave head” to all kinds of other male celebs.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Yep. And what heinous behavior on Christina’s part triggered Eminem, probably 9 or 10 years her senior, to lash out at the 18 year-old with all that misogynistic abuse? Oh yeah, it was the fact that she, a dv victim and daughter of a dv victim, felt that his lyrics about his wife were abusive.
      If Justin Timberlake is going to (rightfully) be held accountable, Eminem definitely should too, since he also built his career on misogyny. He mumbled something about Cancel Culture and about how he wasn’t paying attention when people were talking about some gross lyric from him about Rihanna and Chris Brown. He’s just another example of how much lower the bar is left for men. Women have to be completely unproblematic just to not deserve to not be treated like that, while problematic men just get to be allies as long as they’re not ‘too’ bad.

  5. Willow says:

    I love Christina, but the gushing comments about how wonderful the pandemic was for her. Wow, just so tone deaf. Hopefully there is empathy for other people in the article not quoted here.

    • Holly says:

      I’m sure she does have empathy for other people. It’s possible to do that while also offering your personal perspective in a situation. Just because she found her peace doesn’t mean she doesn’t respect other people’s struggles.

      I’m not even a fan of hers, I just fail to see how she’s being an ass by finding the good in the bad.

      • Hell Nah! says:

        “…I just fail to see how she’s being an ass by finding the good in the bad.”

        100% agree with this sentiment!

  6. Watson says:

    I can see why she loved this situation so much. As a child star she and all the others were worked to the bone, and never got any time to really examine their lives or be with loved ones. So as out of touch as her comments sound…I can’t really blame her.

  7. Cine Johnson says:

    I dunno — she went through some larger times after being “skinny” (where she was pretty hard on Kelly Osbourne for being larger), and clapped back at those commenting on her larger side, claiming she accepted herself as she was and loved her fuller body. But now she’s evidently gotten more fit (?) or sized down again. And it’s all glorious. Mixed messages to be sure.
    FYI – can’t stand Kelly, but CA was rough on her. When CA got larger, KO was likewise rough on her. Either accept yourself or don’t, but at least try to be authentic. What is so freaking hard about saying, ‘ya, I could lose a few but I’m happy.’ There are gray areas and you can be comfortable within them.

  8. Amando says:

    She looks great! It’s a shame that her singing career tanked after 2010. Stripped was an amazing album that I still love, but she never could quite find her musical footing. She was always trying too hard to out sing or out sex (a la Madonna style) her competition.

    • Meg says:

      Yes the music video she released after leaving the tv judge reality shown she was on, i couldn’t get past the opening sequence of ‘milk’ running down her face; the second hand embarrassment i had for her just desperate to seem sexy. Nothing suggestive no style or nuance, just hitting you over the head.
      She has one of the best voices yet hasn’t had the success to reflect that

  9. Otaku fairy says:

    “There’s been so much talk about Britney Spears and how the media treated her and the bad energy around her, but Christina was right there too. Maybe Christina didn’t have that kind of “breakdown,” but Christina definitely chafed under the demands of the bubble-gum pop music industry and she was absolutely put through the winger.”

    So true, for her and a lot of others during the 00s and 10s. People seemed to feel that anything they said or did was justified as long as it was about keeping girls and young women sexually modest- even if it incited violence or put other girls at risk. Conservatives may have been the loudest about it, because they only view females through the lense of what they don’t want them doing with their bodies. But it definitely wasn’t just them, and feminism was used to justify a lot of the abuse even as people were starting to take homophobic slurs and homophobic victim-blaming ‘more seriously. It’s one if the many reasons why it’s hard to automatically hate on her and other women for not leaping to embrace the label. She has mentioned before that she’s glad that people are more vocal about how wrong that is with other girls and women. We still have a long way to go though.

  10. jferber says:

    She could always sing, a powerhouse. I’d put her in the same class as Whitney, Mariah and Adele (I’m sure I’m missing plenty of others). I’m glad she found some peace in her life.