American singer Christina Aguilera has revealed she faced a lengthy battle with her record company over her weight, and was urged to slim down drastically for the sake of her image.
During an interview with Billboard magazine, Aguilera - who is preparing for the release of her upcoming album Lotus - said her record company RCA first became concerned about her weight following the release of her 2002 album, Stripped.
"During the promotion of my album Stripped, I got tired of being a skinny, white girl," Aguilera said, "I am Ecuadorian but people felt so safe passing me off as a skinny, blue-eyed white girl."
"The next time my label saw me, I was heavier, darker and full of piercings! Let me tell you, that wasn't an easy pill for them to swallow. I had gained about 15 pounds during promotion and during my Stripped tour.
"They called this serious emergency meeting about how there was a lot of backlash about my weight. Basically, they told me I would affect a lot of people if I gained weight -- the production, musical directors."
"I was young, so I lost the weight quickly and was toothpick thin during 'Back to Basics' promos and touring,"
However, the 31-year-old five-time Grammy Award winner says the record company now has to accept her body shape.
"I told them during this 'Lotus' recording, 'You are working with a fat girl. Know it now and get over it.' They need a reminder sometimes that I don't belong to them. It's my body.
"My body can't put anyone in jeopardy of not making money anymore -- my body is just not on the table that way anymore."
The singer appears as a man-killer in her latest music video for her single Your Body and is seen wearing skin tight outfits, corsets and mini-skirts.
"I'm very confident in my body," Aguilera said during NBC's panel for The Voice at the Television Critics Association Winter Session in January, "I think my video works over the years have spoken to that... I've been no stranger to being very comfortable in my own skin."
The singer also claims that her boyfriend, Matthew Rutler, approves of her figure.
"As long as I'm happy in my own skin, that's all I need, that's all the confirmation I need," the singer continued, "I'm happy where I am, I have a boyfriend that loves my body, I love my body, my son is healthy and happy. That's all that matters."
Meanwhile, on the career front, Aguilera hopes her new album will be a hit after the commercial failure of her 2010 dance and electronic album, Bionic.
"This album represents a celebration of the new me, and to me the lotus has always represented this unbreakable flower that withstands any harsh weather conditions in its surroundings, that withstands time and remains beautiful and strong throughout the years.
"Once I could start writing my own songs, beginning with Stripped, I tried to infuse as much as I could to promote strength and inspire people with that message. And now I'm at a place at 31, where the last time I felt this way was when I was 21 with Stripped and I had a lot to say and a lot to express."