Christina Aguilera, the woman who made ass-less chaps a trend, shocked her fans and those who have seen her perform throughout the past two decades, by posing completely barefaced on the cover of Paper Magazine. Saying how she is at a new point in her career where she wants to “strip it all back,” Aguilera starts this new phase by posing without makeup, a look that she is definitely not known for.
When most people think of Aguilera, they may think of her role in “Burlesque” or her classic hit “Genie in a Bottle,” which is why she was almost unrecognizable on the April issue of Paper Magazine’s “Transformation 2018.”
Despite having a killer voice that has won her five Grammys, Aguilera became typecast in the music and beauty industries because of her over-the-top looks and makeup, which makes this cover so intriguing.
“I’ve always been someone that obviously loves to experiment, loves theatrics, loves to create a storyline and play a character in a video or through a stage. I’m a performer, that’s who I am by nature.” She also said that despite her outlook on self-love and acceptance, she’s not giving up on her theatricality, saying, “I’m a girl that likes a beat face, let’s not get it twisted.”
Along with being most notable for her grandiose looks and sexy pop songs, she has always preached a self-love agenda. In her song “Beautiful,” which was released in 2002, the lyrics tell her story of dealing with insecurities and trying to overcome them and learning to love herself, “no matter what they say.”
In the Paper Magazine interview, Aguilera talks about still dealing with those who put her down for her looks, saying, “There’s always gonna be those trolls out there or people that have their own definition and ideal of beauty… everybody that can’t hop on that train can suck our dicks.”
For over a decade, Aguilera has been teaching her fans to accept themselves for who they are, and if you’re a person who hates on people for being who they are, then she has no time for you.
In 2011, Aguilera joined NBC’s “The Voice” as a coach for its first three seasons. It was being on this show that made her realize that artists in the past few years have had to face a lot less scrutiny than she ever did when she started in the early 2000s, saying how it was a “very controversial time for me.”
She raves about how artists today are instead praised for taking risks and being sexually empowered. Although women still face a double standard on sexuality, whether it’s being overtly sexual or not sexual enough, Aguilera sees true progression for women, saying, “Madonna had to go through it in her day, and she paved the way for my generation to come up. And paying it forward, now a younger generation is coming up and I’m loving what I’m seeing. It’s so incredible.”
On the cover of Paper Magazine, Aguilera only sports a gold ring that says “Mom.” Aguilera opens up in the interview about the domestic abuse her mother went through and how that has also taught her about self-love and raw beauty.
“I watched my mom have to be submissive… there’s a psychological damage and mental abuse that comes with being in a situation like that. A lot of people don’t have the ability to vocalize it themselves or have the know-how to get out.” Aguilera swore from a young age that she would never get herself in a similar situation, saying how you can either fall down the same path or go down the other path and never allow yourself to rely on another person for happiness.
Aguilera also opens up about how she plans to raise her two children. Knowing that social media is becoming more and more influential to children, Aguilera takes the same advice she gives on loving and accepting yourself and applies it to raising her kids in a world where information and ideas are constantly at their fingertips. “There’s always gonna be the good and the evil, the dark and light… I really want to make sure my children are both very confident in the sense that they know who they are and that they won’t be easily swayed by outside opinion.”
It’s not every day that an artist goes barefaced on the cover of a magazine just for fun, so Aguilera fans are questioning whether this is the start of a new era for her, in terms of new music. Her fans wonder whether her new music will have aspects of this new look of hers — stripped-down and raw.
Although Aguilera has neither hinted or commented on the speculations, one can only hope to see the release of a new album with her preaching self-love and showing off her amazing pipes. When asked to give one piece of advice, she said, “Be fearless in breaking new boundaries and don’t be afraid to go against the grain of criticism along the way.”