The Beauty Evolution of Christina Aguilera

Updated on November 27, 2019
Rachel M Johnson profile image

Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.

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With the release of her eighth studio album Liberation, Christina Aguilera has embraced a fresh-faced, simplistic look and has yet again transformed her style and appearance. Since first bursting onto the music scene in the late 90s, when teen pop music was at a resurgence, Aguilera has constantly had an ever-changing style. There was her "Genie in a Bottle" era, during which the singer was viewed as a bubblegum pop entertainer. She wore many crop tops and leather pants, and had a more wholesome image. Then came the "Stripped" era, which was all about Aguilera feeling liberated and showing off her "dirrty" side.

For her "Back to Basics" era, the songstress adopted a more mature look, with Marilyn Monroe inspired retro-styled hair and make-up. Since then, she is usually looking glamorous in both fashion and beauty. Just like her style changes, Aguilera's hair is constantly transforming along with it.

Let's take a look at the singer's beauty transformation throughout the years.

Aguilera attending the 1999 Billboard Music Awards.
Aguilera attending the 1999 Billboard Music Awards. | Source
Aguilera at the 2000 Grammy Awards, where she won Best New Artist.
Aguilera at the 2000 Grammy Awards, where she won Best New Artist. | Source
The singer attending the 2000 My VH1 Music Awards.
The singer attending the 2000 My VH1 Music Awards. | Source

1998-2000 (Girl Next Door Persona)

Throughout the early stages of her career, Aguilera was often seen rocking crop tops and proudly showing off her midsection. She looked fresh and stunning, with just the right amount of sexy. By the time 2000 rolled around, Aguilera was wanting to break away from her pop-teen look and experiment with styles more. She had an impressive three Billboard Hot 100 No. 1's to her name, and was also recognized in 2001 by Billboard as the Top Female Pop Act of the Year. Though her career was taking off, the young songstress craved more control of her musical sound and image. Aguilera would terminate her contract with her manager, becoming free to embrace a different image she longed for. In the coming years, the singer would shed her good girl persona and become who she wanted.

Aguilera rocking coiled girls and a corset at the 2001 MTV Movie Awards.
Aguilera rocking coiled girls and a corset at the 2001 MTV Movie Awards. | Source
The singer in braids and a sexy, laced up jumpsuit at the 2001 Grammy Awards.
The singer in braids and a sexy, laced up jumpsuit at the 2001 Grammy Awards. | Source
Aguilera appearing at the 2001 Radio Music Awards.
Aguilera appearing at the 2001 Radio Music Awards. | Source

2001 (Lady Marmalade)

In 2001, Christina saw enormous success along with fellow singers Pink, Mya and rapper Lil' Kim with the release of the song "Lady Marmalade", for the soundtrack of Moulin Rouge. The single spent 5 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, and the provocative cabaret-style video featured the ladies performing in lingerie. The song also won a Grammy Award for "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals."

Not only was "Lady Marmalade" a success for Aguilera professional-wise, but it also propelled the singer to adopting a new style in 2001. She brought back hair crimping and rocked a blingy nose ring, along with lots of glitter. The singer took on more daring outfits that were sexier than her past clothing choices. This transition period in 2001 would lead to one of Aguilera's most dramatic styles transformations: becoming her alter ego 'Xtina.'

Aguilera in a risque ensemble at the 2002 Video Music Awards.
Aguilera in a risque ensemble at the 2002 Video Music Awards. | Source
Christina at the VH1 Big 02 Awards.
Christina at the VH1 Big 02 Awards. | Source
The singer at the 2003 Video Music Awards.
The singer at the 2003 Video Music Awards. | Source
Christina at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards.
Christina at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards. | Source

2002-2003 (Stripped Era)

In 2002, Aguilera decided to go in a new artistic direction and take creative control over the album Stripped, both musically and lyrically. Her public image also drastically changed, as she adopted the alter ego Xtina. The singer debuted her signature blonde hair with black streaks, had multiple body piercings and wore more daring, risque clothing styles. She would also take part in several nude pictorials for magazines.

During this style phase, Aguilera felt liberated and wanted to push the boundaries in fashion. She showcased her "dirrty" side, and wanted to shed her good girl image completely by becoming Xtina. She would later dye her hair black and embrace being a free and stripped down woman.

Aguilera at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.
Aguilera at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. | Source
The singer adopting a more retro-glam look.
The singer adopting a more retro-glam look. | Source
Aguilera in a vintage-inspired ensemble.
Aguilera in a vintage-inspired ensemble. | Source

2004-2005 (Transition to Vintage Style)

In 2004, Christina recorded a cover of Rose Royce's "Car Wash" with Missy Elliot and wanted to develop a more mature persona. She also performed "Tilt Ya Head Back" with Nelly at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. During this time, she began to work on her new album and began embracing an image inspired by Old Hollywood glamour, debuting blonde curly hair and retro-styled make-up. Her style inspirations included Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, and Mary Pickford.

The singer was recording her album Back to Basics, and was preparing to present the world with her new alter ego, Baby Jane.

The songstress in a stunning old Hollywood inspired outfit.
The songstress in a stunning old Hollywood inspired outfit. | Source
Aguilera the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards.
Aguilera the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. | Source
The singer at 'US Weekly's Hot Hollywood: Fresh 15' in 2006.
The singer at 'US Weekly's Hot Hollywood: Fresh 15' in 2006. | Source
Aguilera at a 2007 Awards Show.
Aguilera at a 2007 Awards Show. | Source

2006-2007 (Back to Basics & 'Baby Jane')

In 2006, the songstress released Back to Basics, which was described by Christina as "a throwback to the 20's, 30's and 40's-style jazz, blues, and feel-good soul music, but with a modern twist." With its retro-oriented roots and style, Aguilera adopted a persona to match. She became her new alter ego 'Baby Jane', inspired by the 1962 film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?.

Aguilera completely transformed into the alter ego, dying her hair blonde and wearing it in curls with retro-inspired make-up and clothing. Her ensembles were inspired by old Hollywood glamour and the singer appeared absolutely stunning.

Aguilera at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.
Aguilera at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. | Source
The singer at the 2008 Video Music Awards.
The singer at the 2008 Video Music Awards. | Source
Aguilera in 2009.
Aguilera in 2009. | Source

2008-2009 (Motherhood & Keeps Gettin' Better Album)

Christina gave birth to her son Max in 2008, and took a break from music to focus on motherhood during this period. To celebrate her ten years in music, the singer released a greatest hits album entitled Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade Of Hits. With the record Aguilera released two new original songs, "Keeps Gettin' Better" and "Dynamite." The single "Keeps Gettin' Better" had an electropop feel, and the singer's appearance looked futuristic inspired.

This song would be an introduction to the new direction she would be taking in her next album, Bionic. Once again, Aguilera would develop a new persona with the release of the album.

Aguilera at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards.
Aguilera at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards. | Source
Aguilera at a 2010 New Year's Eve party.
Aguilera at a 2010 New Year's Eve party. | Source
Christina at the 2010 Golden Globes.
Christina at the 2010 Golden Globes. | Source

2010-2011 (Bionic, Burlesque & The Voice)

In 2010, Aguilera released her sixth studio album Bionic. For the record, the singer adopted a futuristic style for the electropop sound. Her signature platinum hair and bright red lips became her beauty go-to look, and she came many elements of her retro-style from her Back to Basics era. The album failed to reach the success of her previous ones, which Aguilera attributed to it being ahead of its time. In a September 2012 interview, she had said, "I can proudly say it was ahead of its time, to be honest."

Aguilera would also release her debut film Burlesque in 2010, which also impacted her overall style. Her performance in the film was praised, and she contributed eight tracks to the film's soundtrack.The songstress would also become a judge on the TV series The Voice, and performed a duet with Maroon 5 in "Moves Like Jagger."

Aguilera at a 2012 event.
Aguilera at a 2012 event. | Source
The singer as a coach on The Voice.
The singer as a coach on The Voice. | Source
Christina at the 2012 American Music Awards.
Christina at the 2012 American Music Awards. | Source

2012 (Lotus Album)

In 2012, Christina released her seventh studio album, Lotus. The record did not achieve mainstream success, peaking at number seven on the Billboard 200 chart. She would go on to be featured in Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" and continued to make appearances on The Voice. During this period, Aguilera was playful with her appearance, adding pink and purple highlights in her hair and going for a more colorful make-up palate.

She would take a break from her own music, instead being featured in other artist's songs. It wouldn't be until 2018 that Aguilera would release her next album.

Aguilera at the 2013 American Music Awards.
Aguilera at the 2013 American Music Awards. | Source
The singer on The Voice, 2014.
The singer on The Voice, 2014. | Source
Aguilera at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar party.
Aguilera at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar party. | Source
Christina performing at the 2017 American Music Awards.
Christina performing at the 2017 American Music Awards.

2013-2017 (Television & Film Projects)

Throughout 2013, Aguilera would take a break from her own music and instead collaborate with other artists. She was featured on Pitbull's single "Feel This Moment" and also sang a duet with A Great Big World on the song "Say Something." The single peaked at number 4 and won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The songstress also sang a cover of "Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti" with Mexican singer Alejandro Fernandez.

During this time, Aguilera ditched the colorful streaks and once again adopted her platinum blonde hair and signature red lips. She had a guest spot on the TV show Nashville and released two singles, "Change" and "Telepathy" in 2016. The singer also provided her voice for The Emoji Movie. She gave birth to her second child Summer Rain in 2014.

Aguilera posing for Paper magazine.
Aguilera posing for Paper magazine. | Source
The singer at a 2018 fashion show.
The singer at a 2018 fashion show. | Source
Christina at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.
Christina at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. | Source

2018 (Liberation Era)

After six years since her last album, Christina released her eighth studio album Liberation in 2018. The record was hip-hop and R&B inspired, and her current style reflects that. Since the album's debut, she has released the singles "Accelerate" and "Fall in Line" featuring Demi Lovato. The latter song focuses on female empowerment, with a fresh-faced Aguilera and Lovato.

She has gone for a more minimal make-up look, often appearing bare faced and natural. Her clothing style is more over-sized women and men's wear. She graced the cover of Paper magazine, completely make-up free and without retouching. Aguilera received widespread praise for her spread.

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    © 2018 Rachel M Johnson

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