She shot to international stardom as the waif thin blonde with the big voice thanks to her first hit “Genie in a Bottle”.
But as time went on, Christina Aguilera began to fill out and develop curves– something she says saw her on the harsh end of criticism from record executives.
In the latest issue Billboard magazine, in which she appears on the cover, the superstar singer is opening up about the pressure to stay thin, saying in 2002 she “got tired of being a skinny, white girl.”
“I am Ecuadorian but people felt so safe passing me off as a skinny, blue-eyed white girl,” she explains.
“The next time my label saw me, I was heavier, darker and full of piercings!’ she revealed. ”I had gained about 15 pounds during promotion and during my Stripped tour.”
“They called this serious emergency meeting about how there was a lot of backlash about my weight,” she said.
“Basically, they told me I would effect a lot of people if I gained weight — the production, musical directors.”
“[They claimed] people I toured with would also miss out if I gained weight because I would sell no records or tickets for my shows.
“I was young, so I lost the weight quickly and was toothpick thin during Back to Basics promos and touring.”
But this year, at 31, Aguilera was comfortable enough in her own skin and emotionally strong enough to stand up to her detractors.
She recalls telling record executives: “You are working with a fat girl. Know it now and get over it. They need a reminder sometimes that I don’t belong to them. It’s my body.”
She adds: “My body can’t put anyone in jeopardy of not making money anymore—my body is just not on the table that way anymore.”
Aguilera’s new album, Lotus, hit stores November 13.