…Or at least, she didn’t say she was. You may have noticed recently that Christina Aguilera has gained a little weight, which, to be honest, is probably fair enough. She’s 31, she’s had a kid, she’s released a bunch of albums, she’s gotten divorced. I’d probably get drunk and gorge myself on pizza too.
To me, skinny or slightly heavier, she still looks like the kind of lady who, if she wasn’t famous, would be hanging around outside a shopping centre in stained track pants, with long acryclic nails in some violent neon shade, chuffing on a cigarette and screaming for her kids to “get back here!” But enough folks are into for her to be a big deal, so whatever.
Anyway, what’s interesting is the fact that there’s a bunch of quotes attributed to Aguilera in her recent interview with Billboard:
“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. So the next time my label saw me, I was heavier, darker and full of piericings! [laughter] Let me tell you, that wasn’t an easy pill for them to swallow. I had gained about 15 pounds during promotion and during my Stripped tour with Justin. They called this serious emergency meeting about how their was a lot of backlash about my weight… basically they told me I would effect a lot of people if I gained weight. The production, musical directors, people I toured with would ALSO miss out if I gained weight because 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. So 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. I am 31 – my boobs are Max’s [her son’s] and my pussy is mine… Sorry.”
Reading that you can understand why it’s blown up the internet. Pop stars lives are generally so stage managed that you wouldn’t know the truth from a glass of water, so in some sense, it’s kind of awe-inspiring to see such brutal honesty. Except that Aguilera did not once say any of those things in her Billboard interview. This lengthy, ‘reclaiming your body’, ’embracing yourself’ style quote was entirely a figment of the internet’s imagination. Ha! High fives, internet! When the interviews don’t give you what you want, make that shit up.
What’s probably funnier than the fictitious quotes, is the fact that a number of very reputable publications (well, as reputable as gossip mags get, anyway) ran them as gospel. I’m looking at you Us Weekly. You have the unfortunate distinction of being the first publication to run the quotes. This of course begs the question: how on earth does Us Weekly conduct their research? The quotes were originally supposed to have appeared in an article in another magazine… so since it’s obvious that the writers over at Us Weekly haven’t actually read that article we should probably find the original source. EW managed to trace it back to a reblogged Tumblr post (the original post is missing, but the internet never forgets). The only possible conclusion I can draw from this is that Us Weekly goes to Tumblr to do all its research.
If this is the case then I have penned the following open letter to the magazine:
Dear Us Weekly,
I realise that Tumblr is a magical place. A place where time stands still… except it doesn’t because I lost about six hours there last night. Not the point. It’s a place where hero-worship goes totally and utterly unchecked. This is great for those of us with slightly emotionally unbalanced, obsessive tendencies. We can watch the same 5 second gif of our favourite celebrity/ internet celebrity/ fictional character/ stuffed animal/ live animal/ puppet doing that adorable thing with its nose over and over again until we pass out or die from malnutrition.
This does not mean it’s a good place for you to do in depth studies prior to writing articles. (Leave that for those of us struggling to come up with a thesis idea for our PHD. ) Where Tumblr lacks actual verified content, it will make it up to satisfy the desires of the hive mind. This why there are so many in depth posts about homoerotic content that you didn’t realise existed in shows that you watch regularly. They’re sneaky about it too. Some people who spend hours lurking Tumblr are fantastic writers and master photo manipulators. Like me, they just have a lot of feelings and they will fill the void brought about by shows ending or albums sucking by making up a reason for it to be interesting.
You should probably just be a bit more careful. Or at least learn to internetz.