Christina Aguilera is now 35 years young, but over the course of her remarkable career, the pop star has emerged as a teen-lifer.
Ever since her self-titled debut album dropped in 1999, the lady has been steadily laying down lyrics that speak to the exact experience of going from a little kid to, well, a big kid. Her seductive voice, combined with all those empathetic words of realness, made for the kind of songs that angsty souls did/can/will totally relate to.
So to celebrate Christina's birthday on Friday (Dec. 18), we've compiled an anthology of her essential adolescence anthems. You're welcome (and happy birthday, C)!
Your first love was probably your most furious and all-consuming one because you had so many ~emotions~ just out there for the claiming. And whoever was lucky (?) enough to be on the receiving end of your affection was your very favorite and most hated person, depending on the day. This was you.
"Turn to You"
During those fleeting moments when you actually appreciated Mom/Dad/whoever raised you, this was your truth.
"I Hate Boys"
Before Taylor Swift gave you an entire discography of anti-love songs, this tune struck that "boys suck" note you just needed to belt sometimes.
"Genie in a Bottle"
Let's be real here: a lot of those tender years are about sex. Whether and when to first have it, who to have it with, how to be safe... there are a lot of war games going on between the body and mind during this time, and this song described the ~first time~ struggle pretty perfectly.
Not only is this song the self-esteem anthem we all needed (and still do), but the video is kind of ahead of its time with messages of self-worth and acceptance and all the wonderful things.
"Can't Hold Us Down"
This jam was all about being a W-O-M-A-N and offering exactly zero apologies for it. Go girrrrrl.
"The Voice Within"
The chillingly amazing ballad pierced all the feel spots with its messages of inner strength and creating a better reality for oneself.
That moment when you transcended the tears and turned up the notch on your flex fury... it was a beautiful thing.