Christina Aguilera is speaking out about her attempt to mold her image throughout her career.
The Grammy-winning musician sat down with Vogue for their “Life in Looks” segment as she reviewed twelve of her most iconic looks throughout her career.
Aguilera began her career early on in 1999 as a teen pop sensation with “Genie in a Bottle” and called her look “Baby Christina.”
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“I had all these creative ideas and I just wanted to be very expressive and over the top and so this was very, you know, playing it safe,” she recalled. “I didn’t really have any mobility to have a say yet, so I felt very plain, I remember on this photoshoot, but thankfully, looking back, that wouldn’t last long.”
She started to experiment a bit more with her looks after she won a Grammy for Best New Artist, but it wasn’t until “Lady Marmalade” that she really began to understand the kind of artist she wanted to become.
“This is where we stopped apologizing for anything. It was an explosion of everything being right at the right place at the right time,” explained Aguilera. “I was still transitioning between my initial debut record and everyone sort of thinking I was gonna fit that box or that mold of what the label wanted me to be, but I was starting to come into myself and that would be the gateway to what was to come.”
When she released her Stripped album, she wanted it to be the sort of music that empowered women to carve their own path.
“There’s such a rulebook that we need to look a certain way on a certain front, act a certain way, be sexy, not too sexy, be good girl, but not too good ’cause that’s boring,” she explained. “There’s such a rulebook that’s handed to us and I was given it since I was very, very little and the older I got, the more I realized — you’re either going to be a part of the problem of you’re gonna stand up against it.
While the pop singer did embrace her rebellious side, as she grew older she wanted to express her evolution into adulthood as well.
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“We are entering the back-to-basics phase,” she said as she looked at a 2007 photo of herself in jeans and a cardigan. “One thing that was really important to me as an artist was making sure that I really embodied the different chapters in my life: my personal growth and the music that I was listening to at the time or had been influenced by and that stemmed from throwback music.”
Teasing perhaps a future edition of the interview, Aguilera concluded the interview with, “This has been so much fun and I hope to do it in the next 20 some years.”