Christina Aguilera looks unrecognizable in the latest issue of Paper magazine, speaking about the path she has taken to appreciating her ‘raw beauty’.
The singer has gone for an extremely minimal makeup look for the cover shot, her skin bare and her natural freckles showing. She is wearing a ring which has the word ‘MOM’ on it, and is holding her finger up to her lips to showcase the jewelry.
She appeared on the magazine’s ‘Transformation 2018’ issue, telling Paper that she is at the place in her career where “it’s a liberating feeling to be able to strip it all back and appreciate who you are and your raw beauty.”
She made it a point to stress however, that this cover does not mean she’s given up on makeup.
“I’m a girl that likes a beat face, let’s not get it twisted,” she said.
In the interview, Aguilera explained how transformation and versatility has always been a key element of her singing and style approach.
“I need movement, I need to go explore, be an artist, create and transform,” she said.
It is elaborated during the interview that this creation and transformation is part of the singer’s “unique appeal”.
The singer talked about how her experiences with releasing her music initially have been different than artists today, which in some ways has led to her personal brand being so unique and personal.
“They don’t have as much backlash when they come out on the scene. And I did. It was a very interesting and controversial time for me.”
She highlighted that back when she was creating her image, female sexual experimentation and even risks with music were not appreciated, making it much harder to talk about these issues, whether in her real life or in her music.
“Either women are not sexual enough or were not fulfilling enough of a fantasy for you, but then if we’re overtly sexual or feeling empowered in a certain kind of way, we’re shamed for it,” she explained.
She exemplified what she was trying to say by talking about Madonna’s experiences and how that subsequently changed the image attached to female celebrities, allowing some room for Aguilera’s generation. She also said that her generation similarly paved the way for the next generation of even more open and honest voices.
“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.”
Aguilera also stressed on the need to break conventional notions of beauty; “Be fearless in breaking new boundaries and don’t be afraid to go against the grain of criticism along the way. There’s always gonna be those trolls out there or people that have their own definition and standards of beauty.”
The 37-year-old’s talents don’t stop at acting. She is also appearing in two feature films this year, as a robot in the sci-fi film, Zoe, and as herself in the comedy, Life of the Party.
She’s also releasing her eighth album this year, her first since 2012’s Lotus. This new era in her music career will no doubt also mean a new era in her aesthetic.
Read her full interview here.