The world has definitely made progress when it comes to properly respecting female artists, but Christina Aguilera remembers a time when things were a lot worse.
Sitting down with host Alex Cooper on Wednesday’s (April 5) episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast, the 42-year-old pop icon reflected on the glaring discrepancies in how she was perceived back in the early aughts compared to her former tour mate Justin Timberlake.
“There was a lot of double standards with it,” she said candidly. “Because I went on tour with Justin, we did the Stripped [&] Justified tour, and there were things where I was just like, ‘Why is it okay for him and not okay for me, you know what I mean?’”
“I was constantly pushing back in my way,” Aguilera added. “It was so inappropriate sometimes, the things [the media] asked about that era.”
Cooper agreed with the “Beautiful” singer, adding that the “comparison of a man doing the same thing — it’s like, ‘I’m doing the same thing and I’m being called a slut, and he’s, like, the boy next door.’”
Back in the day, Aguilera was a trailblazer in proudly expressing female sexuality through her songs and music videos, something she still sees as important 20 years later (the vocalist recently launched her own sexual wellness brand, Playground). Even though society is finally starting to catch up, she can still recall the incessant slut-shaming she experienced as a young artist — something she says she now finds funny, given that she didn’t even lose her virginity until “later than you would think.”
“I was like, ‘I have to do songs that mean something to me and are valid to who I am and being fearless and talking about anything,’” the five-time Grammy winner continued on the podcast. “And that includes sexuality! I felt that there was a lot of shame and fear around the subject … so I just wanted to be who I was and make a safe space for everyone to feel food — and make it a conversation.”
Listen to Christina Aguilera’s episode of Call Her Daddy below: