2002 was the revolution of Miss Christina Aguilera. In an era where Britney Spears was rocking it as a platinum blonde, Jessica Simpson was playing house with Nick Lachey and Mandy Moore was looking sweet as ever, Aguilera was getting “Dirrty”. She had to stand out in the pop princess club she was in, and boy did she ever. She went from the bubblegum pop “Genie In A Bottle” singer to the iconic individual we know only as Xtina. She took on the world with a brand new sound and a controversial new look. She released her best work and one of the greatest things to come out of the 2000s, the album Stripped.
Stripped was worlds away from what Aguilera fans were used to. She went from a cute teen pop star to a powerful new woman. Aguilera and her powerhouse voice were no longer singing teeny bopper songs, but rather belting out tunes with much bigger impacts. Songs on the album dealt with social issues like gender inequality, domestic abuse, bullying, breakups, and self-empowerment.
Along with Xtina’s new sound came an image we can only classify as trashy. She had a two-toned rat's nest on her head, peek-a-boo tattoos and piercings, grungy makeup and outfits that left nothing to the imagination. Aguilera’s trashy days were brief but iconic nonetheless. Today, we see the 36-year-old mother of two presenting herself much classier. 2000’s Xtina may be gone, but definitely not forgotten. Check out these 15 flashback photos of Christina Aguilera’s trashy days.
15 Skinny Dippin'
Aquilera hit the January pages of Maxim Magazine back in 2003. This was her year. At this stage in her career, she was just coming off the release of her fourth studio album, Stripped and co-headlining a tour with Justin Timberlake. What does a woman on the rise in the music industry have to do to stay on top? Pose nude of course.
The Maxim spread was, uh, revealing to say the least. When she wasn’t trashily flipping the bird to the camera while seductively covering her “girls”, she was floating around in a pool toy showing off her bare behind. Yep, it’s super trashy but it worked to promote her album. Stripped is one of those iconic records of the millennium we won’t ever forget.
14 Worst Dressed
Okay Xtina, we get it, you’re edgy, you’re breaking the mould! Stop this nonsense before you look back on pictures one day and regret it! Too late. Aguilera showed up to the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards looking like this. I guess that since this was the night of the Madonna kiss, Aguilera needed all of the attention she could get from the get-go.
Check out the way her bright orange spray tan and jet-black hair compliment the flamingo she’s wearing. All teasing aside, I guess if there's one place to dress like a total lunatic it's the VMAs. If you recall, Lil’ Kim once showed up in Nipple pasties, Miley Cyrus showed up in a mouse onesie and Lady Gaga showed up in a meat dress.
13 Little To The Imagination
Aguilera showed up to the 2002 MTV VMAs in this get-up. I feel like the one thing with the most material on this outfit is her hat. She must have needed a personal assistant to walk around the event with her to make sure her cookies didn’t come out of the jar. I guess when you have a rocking body like that, less is more.
The top (if you could even call it that) looks like a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. The sheer, scarf-like garment shows side and under-boob for days! One can only hope she was wearing full-coverage panties. With a skirt as short as it was, there’s no possible way she could have sat down hygienically. There’s nothing that could have topped off this trashy look better than bleach blonde locks, black dreads and facial piercings.
12 Poster Girl
This is another photo from Maxim Magazine, 2003. Aguilera’s 23 and showing the public she’s no longer the cute little teen they once knew. She’s now showing a lot more skin than her crop-tops did in the “Genie In A Bottle" Days.
I can only imagine that prude parents were not impressed with Aguilera’s new image or the idea of their kids looking up to her. Parents aside, I can think of one demographic who probably loved the new change. This particular image was probably hanging on the ceiling of lewd teenage boys' rooms all over the world. The photo is hot... but gives off a kind of stripper vibe, am I right?
Nothing screams 2002 more than Christina Aguilera dancing sweatily around a filthy boxing ring for her “Dirrty” music video. The video was jaw-dropping. Prior to this point, we knew Aguilera as the bubblegum pop cutie who sang songs like “Come On Over Baby”. We’d seen her step a little bit outside of that image when she joined Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink in lingerie for the “Lady Marmalade” video. But, “Dirrty” took Aguilera to a whole other level. The video was raunchy, shocking and filthy to say the least. She was no longer known as “the girl next door” Christina, she was Xtina.
Aguilera’s new image definitely had her noticed, but almost to a fault. The controversy over Xtina began to outshine her talent as a musician. She was judged by the media and even by fellow artists. Although the controversy may have been bad for Aguilera, it was definitely good for her career. The video was nominated for multiple awards and is now known as one of the sexiest music videos of all time.
10 Can't Hold Us Down
Another popular song from Stripped was “Can’t Hold Us Down”. The video for the song was supposed to resemble the 1980s “ghetto” of Manhattan, and boy did Aguilera look the part. She’s fully equipped with jet-black hair, raccoon eyes, a tube-top, short-shorts, and extra-large gold hoops.
The song is a total feminist jam. Lyrics are directed towards male and female double-standards. Xtina thinks she should be able to walk the streets without being treated as a piece of meat. The video was criticized as being an example of cultural appropriation; the theft of icons, aesthetic standards, and behavior from one culture by another. Critics blamed Aguilera for conducting herself as a black woman in the video.
9 Lingerie Lady
This is another shot of Aguilera that was probably thumb-tacked on the walls of hundreds of teenage boys in the early 2000s. She looks beautifully edgy with a body anyone would be jealous of. Looking back on her body in 2002, the now 36-year-old says she was forced to be skinny during the promotion of Stripped. At one point she put on 15 pounds in which her record label held an emergency meeting over. They told her that by gaining weight she was putting her career and the label at risk because no one would buy her records if she was fat. She complied, lost the weight and went back to “toothpick thin”.
In 2012 she had enough of the pressure. During the recording of her album Lotus she told her record label, “You are working with a fat girl. Know it now and get over it.” That’s the spitfire we know and love!
8 Pop Royalty Makeout Session
Ahh, the infamous makeout sesh at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. Aguilera took the stage with fellow pop royalty, Madonna and Britney Spears for a sexily sleazy performance of Madonna hits. The trio shocked absolutely everyone when Madonna leaned in to each of the stars for a steamy kiss. The lip-lock made headlines everywhere.
The publicity stunt was a success. 2003 was the year of their three successful albums, Stripped for Aguilera, In The Zone for Spears and American Life for Madonna. With Spears and Aguilera always being pitted against each other, it was a new dynamic seeing them perform together. It was completely sleazy, tacky and trashy but, Aguilera’s smooch with the Queen of Pop went down in history.
7 Pussycat Performance
Here is a photo of Aguilera’s 2002 Fever Live performance with the Pussycat Dolls at the Roxy Theatre. Since this dates back to her trashy days, it’s no wonder this looks like a photo from a strip club.
Aguilera, along with one of the Pussycat Dolls’ founding members, Christina Applegate joined the Dolls for one of their signature modern day burlesque shows. She was “dolled” up in fishnet stockings, frilly pink lingerie and enough makeup to make a drag queen jealous. She worked a stripper pole, seductively smoked cigarettes on stage and belted out broadway hits like “Big Spender”. Little did Aguilera know she was getting practice in for a future movie endeavor. In 2010 she starred alongside Cher in the film Burlesque. She contributed eight tracks to the film and was praised for her performance.
6 Step Away From The Spray Tan
As much as tacky hair and trashy piercings were signature Xtina looks, so was that awful spray tan. The Aguilera we see today has a beautiful porcelain complexion. Her father is from Ecuador, and so maybe she thought a fake tan would bring out her South American roots. Unfortunately, it just had her looking like a Cheeto.
Yes, she’s toned it down with the tanner considerably since then, however, there was that incident back in 2012. During a performance at the funeral for soul singer Etta James, Aguilera had an unusual malfunction. As she sang, a mysterious dark liquid began to drip from between her thighs and down her legs, leaving many people to think it was “that time of the month” for the singer. She later revealed (utterly embarrassed) that it was actually spray tan streaking down her legs. Luckily, knowing her past relationship with spray tans, everyone was sure to believe her.
5 Jet-Black Xtina
Following her first three studio albums, despite her success, Aguilera wasn’t happy with the image and direction her management team had her going in. She was competing with other young vocalists like Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson and her managers wanted her to fit into that pop princess mould. The financial trends and managers told her to go one way, but her heart lead her in another direction.
Going from blonde bombshell to a raven-haired badass was symbolic of the changes she was going through as an artist. Her album Stripped wasn’t in the bubblegum pop realm, it was much deeper than that. Songs on the album dealt with issues like gender double standards, abuse, breakups, and building self-esteem. Her edgy image with pencil thin eyebrows, larger than life hoops, tattoos and facial piercings definitely may have been a little trashy, but her image had to break the mould just like her music.
4 Seductive Stare Down Pat
This photo is the epitome of a trashy Xtina— though we've cut out the bottom half of the image which displayed her lying with her legs spread open (no one wants to see that). The photoshoot was skanky and totally sexually explicit. When she wasn’t spread eagle in platform shoes, she was posing handcuffed to a closet pole. She’s wearing a cross around her neck, but there’s nothing Christian about this behavior.
Those days are way in the past. Today, Aguilera is the mother of a son and daughter, “There are two sides to me, which I like to keep very separate. There is a performing Christina, and then there's me as a mom. It's important for me to wear these different hats so I don't bring work home with me,” she’s said. Yeah, that’s probably a good idea. Something tells me Aguilera nervously anticipates the day her kids stumble upon photos like this on the internet.
3 Cheeky Chaps
Another Xtina trademark, assless chaps! The star first donned the trashy attire in her music video for “Dirrty”. Aguilera was the queen of assless chaps in the 2000s and the look has inspired other celebrities today.
Miley Cyrus wore a pair of chaps during a performance strikingly similar to Aguilera’s in “Dirrty”. When Aguilera tweeted at Cyrus to seemingly praise her for the outfit choice, Cyrus took it as an undermining, backhanded compliment and the two apparently have beef over it.
This past Halloween, Kylie Jenner stepped out (and wowed) in a Dirrty Xtina costume. She may have even looked hotter than Aguilera back in the day. There certainly wasn’t any beef over this assless chap copycat. Aguilera even invited the reality star to her 36th birthday this past December where she showed up in another show-stopping Xtina outfit.
2 Classy On The Red Carpet
Aguilera showed up to host the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards looking trash-tastic as always. Her costume changes throughout the show were legendary. She donned everything from assless chaps (of course) to a nun costume. She was nominated for Best Pop, Best Song for “Beautiful” and Best Album.
Although she lost Best Song to Beyonce ft. Jay Z’s “Crazy In Love”, Aguilera’s “Beautiful” is iconic still to this day. The ballad focuses on issues of self-esteem and promoting the message of inner beauty. The music video portrayed individuals struggling with issues of eating disorders, race, bullying, and discrimination. The song has been embraced as an anthem to the LGBTQ community.
1 Twisted Marilyn Monroe
The Hollywood beauty, Marilyn Monroe, has been an icon for decades. The curly blonde locks, the porcelain skin, the red lips and the plunging neck line. Aguilera sort of pulled off that look here, in a contrasted kind of way. The pencil-thin eyebrows and honker of a nose ring aren’t exactly Marilyn-esque, but as we know, Xtina liked to put her own spin on things.
Today, Aguilera pulls off the Marilyn look much better. In 2010 she gushed over the late starlet saying, “Marilyn Monroe is my favorite — I think she evoked sensuality in her look, walk and talk — and she just oozed natural confidence.” Xtina has since reverted back to her platinum blonde hair, clean-ish image and left the trashy days behind. They may be gone, but they’ll never be forgotten.