Since the early nineties we have seen Christina Aguilera blossom into a young woman. Some would say she is worthless, disgusting and a terrible role model, while many others would claim her to be the voice of the new generation. Her soulful voice and powerful lyrics are some of the most poignant of our time. Since her debut on Disney Channel as a solo artist with the hit single, 'Reflection' — Christina has challenged the world with her strength and passion for being the woman she was created to be.
In the song, 'Reflection', Christina sets the stage with her youthful ballad sharing about the trials of being a young woman that the world says they know, but they truly do not. The song ends on a powerful commitment to be the woman she sees in the mirror, despite social expectations or what people say. The real Christina Aguilera. The song accompanied the film 'Mulan' from Disney which gave young girls the encouragement to be strong, intelligent women despite any cultural norms. I remember as a teenager listening to this song, and truly relating to the growing pains of becoming a young woman. The realization that there was more to life than pretend and make believe, knowing that I was an individual and wanting that person inside to be loved, appreciated, and viewed as beautiful. Christina set the stage for the rest of her career in the music industry with the exceptional song!
As Christina branched out in the music industry, she began to grow up before the world's eyes. Unfortunately, that road was not so easy. The response to Christina in her younger years was not all that nice. From being verbally and physically harassed in gym class to jealous competitors in youth talent shows, Christina Aguilera had to grow thick skin very quickly. Later she endured the verbal lashings from media and others, many may remember taunting words like trashy or worse being associated with Christina's provocative but brutally honest lyrics of growing up in our society as a woman. Her lyrical statements are profound for her age, but because of her past and her role in the spotlight of fame, young Christina had to grow up much faster than the average girl. Like many of her generation, she was raised in a broken home, one filled with both verbal and physical abuse. The anguish she felt as a child is still played out in her music, and her voice bears witness to the unfortunate experiences of her childhood. However, Christina Aguilera has overcome these obstacles and is now one of the most talented and well known pop artists in the world. Because of her painful past and the large opposition against her as young pop artist, Christina uses her music to reach out to young girls and encourage them to stay strong despite hurtful words, teasing, or bullying. She also reaches out to those individuals who may not feel as “acceptable” to society, much like she felt.
The idea that Christina Aguilera is not beautiful would be hard to argue. Combined with her amazing voice, her generosity, her beautiful smile and many other shining qualities, it would be hard to say that she was not attractive. But when she released the song ‘Beautiful’ we saw a hurting side of Christina, she begins the song with the words, “Don’t Look At Me…” the songs powerful lyrics cry out to the audience with an intense emotion of pain, and heartbreak from the harsh and cruel words floating around towards many different people, and herself. The song is rather poetic as Christina shows that she is real, a person, who cries and hurts, and words do bring her down just like anyone else.
The video that accompanied ‘Beautiful’ made a few powerful statements of its own. As the song plays out before you, you may remember times when you were beaten up on the play ground, teased, and in the same 3-4 minutes you may experience conviction over the hurtful things you may have said or done to people who are different than you. The song makes a very powerful statement about homosexuality and young adults: the troubles that young men and women are facing because of society’s pressures to fit into the gender roles that are socially acceptable, being pretty enough, skinny enough, being muscular, or handsome.
Christina Aguilera brings forward a powerful statement that homosexuals are human beings, they are not disgusting or ugly — they are beautiful just like you and I. We are no different– especially in the eyes of God. The unity the video creates is one that I believe we as a body of Christ can truly learn from today. It is hard to hate, scorn, or mock someone you pray for, when you see someone as a creation of God, a beautiful child of God it's much harder to lash out in hate, but rather you begin to have the hope of understanding each other and offering a helpful hand. The most beautiful outcome of this song and video is the feeling of empowerment, hope, and love that is brought forth.
In Ephesians 4:29 Paul tells us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
This passage comes to my mind after watching this video, because we so often forget how powerful our words can be. Christina Aguilera reminds us in this song how damaging these words can be, and how many people are trying desperately to overcome the words that continue to bring them down. We as body of believers must be lifting people up in their times of pain and hurt. This is what Christ has asked of us, to love despite of ourselves, and despite of others.
In closing, I want to leave you with one more amazing lesson from Christina Aguilera — Listen To 'The Voice Within.' In this song, Christina Aguilera sings “Young girl don't cry…I'll be right here when you're world starts to fall…” at the beginning, she is reminding herself of the calming voice that comes from within. She shares with the world the need to trust the voice within, and to find strength. The song is inspiring and provides encouragement to anyone needing a reminder to remember 'your oldest friend.' For many believers this voice within can be associated with The Holy Spirit, a force that provides hope, strength and peace even in the darkest of times!