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Why This New Era of Christina Aguilera Is Going to Be So Powerful

You might say Christina Aguilera is the mother of reinvention given all the eras her career has gone through and all the ways she has changed her look over time. Throughout her career, she has never been a woman afraid of taking chances or shaking things up. Now, the petite singer with powerhouse pipes is poised to reinvent herself once more — this time in the spirit of female empowerment — according to a new interview with Paper.

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“I’ve always been someone that obviously loves to experiment, loves theatrics, loves to create a storyline and play a character in a video or through [the] stage. I’m a performer, that’s who I am by nature. But I’m at the place, even musically, where it’s a liberating feeling to be able to strip it all back and appreciate who you are and your raw beauty,” Aguilera said.

Her fresh, makeup-free face on the cover of the magazine speaks to Aguilera’s refreshing perspective shift of late — in fact, fans may not even recognize the singer at first glance. In place of her signature bold lips and dramatic falsies, we see… well, her. Oh, and can I just say, I’m so here for these freckles.

More: Christina Aguilera: “My Boyfriend Loves My Body”

As a ’90s kid, I remember when “Genie in a Bottle” and “What a Girls Wants” came out, and the typical chatter commenced over whether or not the songs were appropriate for impressionable young girls. Meanwhile, said impressionable young girls (read: me) were singing the hell out them in the car with our girlfriends just happy to have songs that reflected the fun, sexy way we felt.

Then came Stripped, and with it came songs like, “Dirrty,” “Beautiful” and “Fighter.” These were songs that were unapologetically bold and inspiring. It was also an album that got Aguilera major pushback by people who felt she was crossing some imaginary threshold of appropriateness.

“[New artists] don’t have as much backlash when they come out on the scene,” Aguilera told Paper. “And I did. It was a controversial time for me,” she explained, referencing all those aforementioned changes she and by extension her career have undergone and how it has been received by the public. But Aguilera’s new look and the fact that she clearly still doesn’t care what people think of her is good news for fans. She’ll be bridging the gap between her original audience and her new one through the power of music.

More: Listen to Christina Aguilera’s Heartbreaking Tribute to the Orlando Victims

As the mother of a young daughter, I’m particularly pumped to see what this next chapter brings. I’m raising a tiny human who unabashedly rocks out in the living room to Meghan Trainor and Halsey, and who belts out Aguilera’s “Reflection” every time we watch Mulan (which is a lot). I can’t wait to add whatever music Aguilera is working on now to the roster.

When asked by Paper what advice she has for the next generation, the singer replied, “Be fearless in breaking new boundaries and don’t be afraid to go against the grain of criticism along the way.” Yep, I’m OK with my little girl listening to someone like that.

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