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Singer Christina Aguilera opens up to Billboard about her weight and the pressures of the entertainment industry to conform to a certain body size.
Editor's Note: A rep for Christina Aguilera tells E! News that quotes attributed to Aguilera about her weight in the article below, and that were said to appear in a Billboard magazine interview, are "fake." Billboard has also denied that Aguilera made the weight comments.
Christina Aguilera's anything but afraid to own her curvaceous figure.
The 31-year-old "Your Body" singer graces the Sept. 29 cover of Billboard magazine to promote her new album, Lotus, out next month and reveals why she no longer feels the pressure to maintain a stick thin figure, despite the demands of the music industry:
"During the promotion of my album Stripped [in 2002], I got tired of being a skinny, white girl," Aguilera tells the mag. "I am Ecuadorian but people felt so safe passing me off as a skinny, blue-eyed white girl."
"The Voice" coach continues, explaining how she tried to take control of her appearance in 2002, during the days of her Stripped album: "The next time my label saw me, I was heavier, darker and full of piercings!"
"Let me tell you, that wasn't an easy pill for them to swallow. I had gained about 15 pounds during promotion and during my Stripped tour [with Justin Timberlake]. They called this serious emergency meeting about how there was a lot of backlash about my weight. Basically, they told me I would affect a lot of people if I gained weight--the production, musical directors."
And at the time, Aguilera gave in to the pressure of industry standards: "[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 after the 2010 flop of her album Bionic and her divorce from then-hubby Jordan Bratman, Christina has taken control of her image and insisted upon creating her next album on her own terms:
"I told them during this Lotus recording, '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," Aguilera adamantly states. "My body can't put anyone in jeopardy of not making money anymore--my body is just not on the table that way anymore."
Stronger than ever after years in the biz and plenty of public ups and downs, Aguilera is determined to prove she's back on top.
"This album represents a celebration of the new me," she tells Billboard, "and to me the lotus has always represented this unbreakable flower that withstands any harsh weather conditions in its surroundings, that withstands time and remains beautiful and strong throughout the years."
Well, based on the sexy music video for the first single, Xtina is definitely proving you don't have to be toothpick thin in order to be a powerhouse pop star.