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Christina Aguilera says stigma 'that it's shameful to get older' in the public eye makes her 'really sad'

Christina Aguilera opened up about the pressure to look a certain way in Hollywood. (Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Billboard)
Christina Aguilera opened up about the pressure social media puts on all of us to look a certain way. (Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Billboard)

Christina Aguilera says she's grateful she didn’t grow up in the age of social media.

The “Genie in a Bottle” singer, 42, opened up to Allure about the pressures put on people — and especially female performers — to look a certain way.

"I see some people struggle with it more than others, and it makes me really sad, but it's not even their fault," she said. "It's a lot of stigma, a lot of old-school behavior and ideals that women have to look a certain way and that it's shameful to get older. I've grown up in this business. I started performing at six or seven and then I broke when I was a teenager. No matter what you do, you're going to have people that hate on you. The bigger you are and the more successful, unfortunately, that comes with more hate or more scrutiny. And I'm a very sensitive person, but I'm also very tough at the end of the day."

The Burlesque actress, who is mom to son Max, 15, and daughter Summer, 8, also noted that social media makes things particularly stressful.

"Social media wasn't around when I was coming up, and now I feel bad for people that don't want to be in the business and just look at comments," Aguilera explained. "My daughter's not there yet with looking or posting yet, but I'm very conscious of the day when these things happen. The re-release of the 'Beautiful' video was about being mindful of what we're teaching our kids. I always try to impose individuality, doing what she feels is right for her. Even when she goes to pick out her clothes and she's like, 'I just don't know what to wear.' I'm like, 'Wear what you like. It doesn't matter at the end of the day. You're going to have an amazing day and you're going to feel amazing. It's just clothes.'"

While Aguilera noted that "authenticity in my face comes first," she also shared that she is a spokesperson for Xeomin, an injectable neurotoxin akin to Botox. Stars like Joe Jonas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Teyana Taylor have also endorsed the product.

"I have a very expressive face, and when I sing, the emotion there has got to come through," she shared. "If don't have time to have a stoic, still face. For me, it's about bringing that realness to the stage and my daily life while still doing what I can to feel and look my best. So Xeomin felt like the safest choice for me."

Aguilera recently encouraged self-confidence with the October re-release of "Beautiful," her 2002 anthem of self-love. At the time of its original release, social media was barely in its infancy. The new video explores the connection between confidence and the time spent online. A message in the video reads, "In the last 20 years, since [the album] Stripped was first released, social media has transformed our relationship with our bodies, and in turn, our mental health. Research suggests that time spent on social networking sites is associated with body image issues, self-harm and disordered eating in children and teens. This needs to change."

In a 2021 conversation with Health, Aguilera said she's much more cautious now about what her daughter, then six, is exposed to, saying she is "really careful" if Summer is there when she is doing a photoshoot.

"I want to make sure that when she sees Mommy in hair and makeup that she realizes that's not what's important," she explained. "If she needs my attention, I stop everything and look into her eyes and listen to her. I want to make sure she understands that this is part of Mommy's work but that it's what I create that matters more. There's no right or wrong way when it comes to my kids. I just really try to encourage them to be their own selves."

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