Christina Aguilera Releases 'Beautiful' 2022 Music Video
Christina Aguilera has released a new video for her hit song "Beautiful" — and its goal is to raise awareness about social media's impact on mental health.
The Grammy winner, 41, originally released the self-acceptance anthem, written by Linda Perry, on her 2002 album, "Stripped." Back then, the song's powerful video showed Aguilera along with vignettes of everyday people triumphing over difficult issues including eating disorders, body dysmorphia, racism and homophobia.
The new video for "Beautiful," released Oct. 19 and directed by Fiona Jane Burgess, tackles similar cultural issues with a contemporary twist.
The video, which doesn't feature Aguilera at all, depicts young people from all walks of life struggling through hardships while being bombarded with pressure-filled messages on social media.
Viewers watch as young, heavily made-up dancers practice as they stare into their smartphones. Another young girl allows a plastic surgeon to draw on her in a room full of other young people who film the duo's interaction on their phones.
People are shown with the words "before" and "after" written on their naked torsos in much the same way certain Instagram accounts depict celebrities' physical transformations.
The message is clear: The pressure to be perfect, happy, healthy, toned, fit, popular and upbeat is relentless for today's youth, thanks to social media.
As the video continues, one by one, these young people begin to reject the messaging — smearing off the plastic surgeon's ink and tearing images of so-called perfect bodies from their walls — and believe in themselves.
Aguilera sings the song's inspiring chorus, "You are beautiful no matter what they say/ Words can't bring you down/ You are beautiful in every single way/ Yes, words can’t bring you down/ So don’t you bring me down today."
The video ends by showing a phone seeping with blood. A message appears on screen.
“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,” the message 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," it concludes.
The message also directs viewers to Aguilera's website, ChristinaAguilera.com, which provides links to organizations that offer mental health resources.
Earlier this month, Aguilera announced on her Instagram page that she would be releasing a new video for "Beautiful."
"In celebration of the 20 year anniversary of Stripped and World Mental Health Day, I’m honored to share a new music video for Beautiful, coming October 19th," she wrote, adding, "Tune out and turn in. Take your space, log off, put your mind, body, and soul first."
This article was originally published on TODAY.com