In 2002, "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 15 pounds during promotion and during my Stripped tour. 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."
Aguilera said the label told her, "I would sell no records or tickets for my shows. I was young, so I lost the weight quickly and was toothpick thin during Back to Basics promos and touring."
This year, though, she'd decided she'd had enough, during the recording of 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."
Update: Reps for Billboard and Aguilera say that the quotes purported to be from Aguilera are not true.
"The quotes are 100% false. She never said them to Billboard and Billboard never printed or posted them. They are fake," Aguilera's rep said.
What did she actually say?
"This album represents a celebration of the new me," she said in the Billboard interview, now published online. "And to me the lotus has always represented this unbreakable flower that withstands any harsh weather conditions in its surroundings. It withstands time and remains beautiful and strong throughout the years," she said.
"I tried to infuse as much as I could to promote strength and inspire people with that message,' Aguilera added. "And now I'm at a place at 31, where the last time I felt this way was when I was 21.. and I had a lot to say and a lot to express."
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