How Christina Aguilera’s Fake "Fat Girl" Quotes Went Viral

The quotes — widely, erroneously attributed to Billboard magazine — ran in major outlets like E!, ABC, Fox, and many more, who couldn’t pass up the highly clickable headline.

At 11:20 Monday morning, People magazine published the below story, with its insanely clickable (if WTF) headline:

But the item — perhaps the biggest piece of press Aguilera’s gotten lately — is fake. The quotes do not appear in the Billboard story, which many outlets cited as the origin of the statements. Aguilera’s rep told Entertainment Weekly she “never said” those quotes. But this what a Google News search for Christina Aguilera turned up this afternoon:

E!, ABC, Huffington Post, Extra, the L.A. Times, NBC, Fox and more outlets too numerous to name all picked up the fake quotes, seizing on the “fat girl” remark in particular.

Entertainment Weekly traces the made-up comments back to a post that got reblogged a lot on Tumblr. The below was published Friday to the site severelycalm.tumblr.com, and cites Billboard as a source:

It’s a pretty good read. So good, in fact, that the Daily Mail reprinted nearly all of it in a story about how the quotes are fake.

It’s surprising that what reads as fan fiction could go so viral without anyone fact-checking the quotes to ensure that they do in fact appear in the Billboard story. Then again, if the internet-reading public has an appetite for one aspect of celeb news, it’s weight stories. So, of course all these places would rush to post a story about Christina Aguilera’s record label berating a 15-pound weight gain, and her calling herself a “fat girl.” Of course they’d want the search engine-friendly headline that included both “Christina Aguilera” and “fat girl.” Just look at what the top Christina Aguilera searches on Google are:

Aguilera has talked about her weight. In the October issue of Lucky she said, “The challenge I’ve always had is being too thin, so I love that now I have a booty.” She added, “And, obviously, I love showing my cleavage.” It’s not quite as grabby as the “Christina Aguilera Calls Self ‘Fat Girl’” angle so many outlets went with today.

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Christina Aguilera on September 16.

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