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Updated on 2 Sep 2020. Posted on 9 Mar 2015

12 Things That Prove Early '00s Christina Aguilera Was Before Her Time

Bring back the Stripped era.

The year was 2002: Cargo pants were in fashion. The Kardashians weren't a thing. And Christina Aguilera released a banger of an album.

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Undergoing a complete image transformation from her "Genie In A Bottle" days, 2002 Christina Aguilera was ready to take on the world with a brand new sound and a whole bunch of messages to send.

Here is the definitive proof early 00's Christina was completely iconic.

1. She didn't give a damn what anybody thought about her new image.

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Haters gonna hate, but Christina could rock the leather chaps like no other.

2. While everyone was focusing on the promiscuous video for "Dirrty", Christina was busy talking some real talk.

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She had this to say to Blender magazine in response to criticism:

"I like to shock - I think it's inspiring. OK, I may have been the naked-ass girl in the video, but if you look at it carefully, I'm also at the forefront. I'm not just some lame chick in a rap video; I'm in the power position, in complete command of everything and everybody around me. To be totally balls-out like that is, for me, the measure of a true artist."

3. And after shedding her good girl vibe, she wasn't afraid to speak out against the music industry.

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"People who see an unhappy, sulky pop star assume that she's an ungrateful, self-absorbed little ninny. But nobody knows what's really going on. I need to eat, I need to sleep, and sometimes those things weren't considered. It was like, 'When do you think I'll have time to go to the bathroom?' That wasn't on the schedule."

4. She followed up her raunchy first single with the heartfelt ballad "Beautiful".

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"Beautiful" is all about accepting everyone for their own unique looks and individuality. After a performance of the song at the 14th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, Christina described the song as a universal message:

"This song is definitely a universal message that everybody can relate to – anyone that's been discriminated against or unaccepted, unappreciated or disrespected just because of who you are."

5. And not only were the lyrics of "Beautiful" iconic, the music video was also raising awareness for those being discriminated against.

The video showcases a gay couple kissing and ignoring the stares of people around them; an anorexic girl examining herself in the mirror; a teenage boy lifting weights with pictures of bodybuilders surrounding him; a young African-American woman ripping out pages of magazines that are only including white women; a transgender person putting on makeup, a wig and women's clothing; and a goth man sitting on a bus while people get up and move away from him.

6. Forget "Since U Been Gone", Christina's "Fighter" was definitely one of the most powerful break-up anthems of the decade.

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The song could also easily double up as a message to all the haters out there, cementing the fact that nobody messes with Christina.

7. And way before many of her rival acts started speaking out about feminism, Christina had already been preaching loud and clear.

8. In fact her song "Can't Hold Us Down" should have been every girl's empowerment anthem.

Sure Beyonce stood in front of a feminist sign - but that was a good ten years after Christina had her say.

9. Christina wore her title of being a strong female role model. Sometimes even literally.

10. And she wasn't afraid to touch on issues that affect many women, such as the domestic violence she suffered when she was a child.

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"I'm OK" is a personal song about Christina's childhood living with her abusive father.

11. She also raised awareness of emotionally abusive relationships in the song "Walk Away."

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Though it was never released as a single, "Walk Away" was still lauded amongst critics as one of the best tracks on the album.

12. And let's not forget, she was the queen of the sassy eye-roll.

Shout out to the early '00s Xtina for being a totally badass female icon.

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