Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for years.
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 "dirrrty" 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.
Girl Next Door Persona (1998–2000)
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.
"Lady Marmalade" (2001)
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 adopt 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.'
Stripped Era (2002–2003)
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 "dirrrty" 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.
Transition to Vintage Style (2004–2005)
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.
Back to Basics and 'Baby Jane' (2006–2007)
In 2006, the songstress released Back to Basics, which was described by Christina as "a throwback to the '20s, '30s and '40s-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.
Motherhood and Keeps Gettin' Better Album (2008–2009)
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.
Bionic, Burlesque, and The Voice (2010–2011)
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."
Lotus Album (2012)
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.
Television and Film Projects (2013–2017)
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.
Liberation Era (2018)
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 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 oversized women's 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.
© 2018 Rachel M Johnson