Christina Aguilera has opened up about the extreme pressures she was subjected to in the music industry, revealing how her record company once staged an intervention to ensure she lost weight.
The singer, who shot to fame as a slender teenager in the late 1990s, now has a fuller, curvier figure that she has repeatedly stated she is proud of. Yet in an interview with Billboard magazine, The Voice judge described how the early years of her career saw her being placed under intense pressure to keep her weight low:
“During the promotion of my album Stripped, I 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. 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.”
Aguilera’s relatively insignificant weight gain caused utter panic within the young star’s record company as she herself describes:
“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. [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 the Back to Basics promos and touring.”
Now 31 and a relative veteran of the industry, Aguilera finally seems confident enough to defy the expectations placed on her. Indeed, she told Billboard that she refused to shed a pound for her new album Lotus:
“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. My body can’t put anyone in jeopardy of not making money anymore – my body is just not on the table that way anymore.”