Quick, think of past Paper Magazine issues and tell us what comes to mind…
A great deal of nudity, highlighted by Kim Kardashian’s infamous 2014 spread, no?
Same here, don’t worry. You aren’t alone.
In the latest issue of this iconic publication, however, Christina Aguilera puts a unique twist on this naked theme:
She poses for a handful of extreme close-ups, all of which involve not a hint of makeup on her face.
Yes, that really is Christina Aguilera above and below, revealing almost more of herself in this manner that even Kim did three and a half years ago — or Nicki Minaj did when she got down and dirty in Paper.
How many times have you seen a celebrity’s butt or boobs?
It’s not all that rare, is it?
Okay, now consider: How many times have you seen a celebrity with no lipstick, mascara or eye shadow anywhere on her face?
It’s far less frequent, isn’t it?
Why did Aguilera take this bold step for Paper?
"I’ve always been someone that obviously loves to experiment, loves theatrics, loves to create a storyline and play a character in a video or through stage," she explained to the magazine, adding:
"I’m a performer, that’s who I am by nature.
"But I’m at the place, even musically, where it’s a liberating feeling to be able to strip it all back and appreciate who you are and your raw beauty."
Aguilera became known over the years for often changing up her appearance, going from a style that oozed sex appeal when she first struck it big to one that was a lot more retro in the 2010s.
“I can’t stay in a stagnant place for too long, which is why I think the position I was in with television just became very stifling,” she told Paper, referencing her six-season stint on The Voice.
“I need movement, I need to go explore, be an artist, create and transform.”
Unlike past Paper cover subjects, Christina isn’t nude and/or hugging a pig for her pictorial.
But that doesn’t mean the artist doesn’t see herself as an innovator.
"Be fearless in breaking new boundaries and don’t be afraid to go against the grain of criticism along the way," she tells Paper.
Isn’t she afraid of what people are gonna say about her online?
"There’s always gonna be those trolls out there or people that have their own definition and ideals of beauty, but I think we’re progressing to a place of pushback and more people coming out."
This is an impressive display of self-confidence on Aguilera’s part, both her photos themselves and her affiliated quotes.
The star just hope she pass along similar traits to her three-year old daughter.
"I don’t want to inject too much upon her as to how I’m choosing to live my life and what I’ve done in my career,” Aguilera says, concluding:
“I just hope I can allow what I’m doing to influence her to be her own person. That’s truly what I hope for her.
"I really want to make sure my children are both very confident in the sense that they know who they are and that they won’t be easily swayed by outside opinion."