Words can’t bring Christina Aguilera down, and today especially. As of Oct. 19 (Wed), Aguilera reveals a new rendition of her 2002 hit, “Beautiful,” to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her sophomore record, Stripped.
The updated version, directed by Fiona Jane Burges, is a modern approach to the song that still resembles the same uplifting message back in 2002 as the video follows young teens in the tropes of the world’s fixation with social media. Even though Aguilera isn’t in the video, it’s a powerful depiction of how kids in a new generation are raised on phones and what everyone considers beautiful.
Various scenes display a group of young dancers holding phones while putting on too much makeup, a young man staring at a gentleman lifting weights, and girls standing in front of a vending machine full of diet supplements and beauty tools. Unfortunately, in reality, it’s what the youth face: the climax of internet standards that leads to body dysmorphia and a skewed sense of self-esteem.
But in the end, the kids are shown in a beautiful grass field while singing, “We are beautiful,” as they strip off their makeup to play in the trees. And they, ironically, act like kids once again.
Aguilera also wrote about the song’s impact on Twitter: “The original ‘Beautiful’ video set out to bring awareness and a sense of compassion in the face of criticism. It still carries an important message to remember our core values outside of what’s being fed to us… To find a sense of balance and accepting ourselves for who we are.”
Then, just when we think the video is over, it leaves with a powerful message, shown with an iPhone bleeding out blood. “In the last 20 years, since Stripped was first released, social media has transformed our relationship with our bodies, and in turn, our mental health,” it reads. “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.” Honestly, we couldn’t agree more.
Aguilera also plans to release a 20th-anniversary edition of Stripped, with new cover art and additional bonus tracks. The latest edition is coming out on Oct. 21 with “The Voice Within,” “Beautiful,” “Can’t Hold Us Down,” “Fighter,” and “Dirrty,” released in high definition on Aguilera’s Youtube channel.
Aguilera continues to remind us that we are beautiful, no matter what they say, and the new video is only to continue that message.
Check out the new version of “Beautiful” below.