Twitter Has All The Feels For Christina Aguilera's New "Beautiful" Music Video
“So powerful. I have goosebumps and watery eyes.”
Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of self-harm and disordered eating.
With her classic pop album Stripped celebrating its 20th anniversary this week, Christina Aguilera has released an updated “Beautiful” music video to mark World Mental Health Day. Considered groundbreaking when it was originally released back in 2002, the ballad is one of her biggest and best-known hits. The original music video spotlighted the negative effects of discrimination, bullying, and damaging body-image standards.
A newly-updated 2022 version of the iconic music video factors in the life-shaping influence of social media that has since emerged, following a group of children who are barraged with dangerous body and beauty ideals via their phones. In one scene, a group of young girls in surgical gowns line a waiting room ready to go under the knife, with a plastic surgeon’s pen markings all over their faces. In another, a young boy struggles to lift weights. In the second half of the video, meanwhile, the children break free and run to a sun-dappled woodland to play together in the trees.
“In the last 20 years since Stripped was released, social media has transformed our relationship with our bodies, and in turn, our mental health,” reads a piece of text ending the video, backed by an image of a mobile phone steadily seeping blood. “Research suggests that time spent on social networking sites is associated with body image issues, self-harm, and disordered eating in children and teens. This needs to change.”
Earlier this year, Aguilera told Rolling Stone that she never considered her original music video content to be taboo. “It was so natural to me to have people embrace who they are and feel empowered by not only their sexuality, but just themselves and who they are,” she explained.
In response to the updated video, Fighters — aka Christina Aguilera stans — have praised the refreshed visual, as well as marvelling at how quickly those 20 years have flown by. See the video, and the best online reactions it has received, below.