By Z.S. Roe
With the upcoming release of pop sensation Christina Aguilera’s new album, Lotus, there’s been a lot of talk about the singer’s noticeable weight gain. And there’s no denying it—she’s put on a few pounds … well, maybe a little more than a few.
But is she still beautiful? Even with all that extra padding?
With the internet being what it is (a place for nut jobs, assholes, and … well, the rest of us), it’s no surprise that plenty of people have chimed in, and not all of them with especially polite things to say.
But then came news that Aguilera had put her foot down with her music execs. As she reportedly explained during an interview with Billboard magazine, “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.”
Soon thereafter, the story broke that the pop star never actually said any such thing. Someone somewhere made it all up. (For more info, click here.)
And I think that’s a shame … to a point, anyway. Part of me really wanted there to be a Top 40 celebrity to finally call bull shit on the skinny girl shtick. How many more girls need to berate themselves over not meeting the rail-thin standard? And, sure, there have already been a number of plus size and overweight celebrities marching for the cause, but not really anybody as well known in the bubble-gum, club hopping pop stardom universe as Aguilera. Plus, she’d said it with a real spit-fire, piss-on-you attitude that makes the point and makes it loudly. But, alas, Aguilera said no such thing.
There’s another part of me, however, that’s a little relieved that she didn’t make those “fat” comments. Over the past few years, I’ve heard some plus-size women suggest that “bigger is beautiful.” But that statement is not quite true, is it? Not most times, anyway. More often, bigger is just unhealthy (and that goes for guys, too). But let me clarify: women/men of any size can be beautiful—of course they can. The problem, as I see it, arises when we inadvertently suggest that a person is beautiful because she or he is bigger. I realize that a catch phrase like “bigger is beautiful” is really just a means of bolstering one’s self-confidence, but the implicit message nevertheless remains.
What we need is a new message.
Bigger isn’t beautiful.
Thin isn’t beautiful.
Healthy and balanced, however … now that’s just damn gorgeous.
And so when I think of Christina Aguilera and her new, plumper figure, my hope is that she is striving not to be thinner or fatter or even beautiful, but balanced and healthy. Happiness and a sense of self-worth (the ingredients of true beauty) is the message I’d wish for her to send to her young (and often impressionable) fans.
Whether or not she can pull it off, however, is beyond me. But I do give her props for strutting her stuff like she doesn’t give a good goddamn. That, at the very least, is a start.
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