Christina Aguilera was hurt by the criticism levelled at her over her racy Stripped album image.
The Dirrty hitmaker's good-girl reputation took a hit when she released her fourth studio album in 2002 and she explains the fall-out from the cover shot, in which she posed topless with her hair covering her breasts, was difficult to deal with.
"It's hard to hear yourself being called names," she tells Cosmopolitan magazine. "I remember being hurt by these commercials on MTV, pitting Britney (Spears) as the good girl and me as the bad girl. It's like, if I'm going to be demure and innocent, that's OK, but if I'm going to just be myself, I'm trouble."
And she's set to stun fans and critics again with the cover art for her new album Liberation, which features a shot of the 37 year old wearing very little makeup.
Christina admits it was difficult to show a different, less-polished side of herself, but the criticism she received for Stripped has hardened her skin and now she can take whatever people say about her.
"I still love getting glammed up, but I want to show imperfections on this go-round," she says. "It's scary, but I'm up for the challenge. You can't tell me something I haven't already heard about myself anyway."
Through all her fashion choices and image changes, Christina is proud she was able to be a trailblazer for women desperate to show off their sexuality.
"I love the female body, and I think it's something to be proud of, not something that men should dictate ownership of," she adds. "(Song) Dirrty was extremely controversial at the time, but it would be nothing now. I hope I paved the way and helped set the ground rules that women can be any version of themselves they wanna be… and proud of it."
Christina previously reflected on Dirrty, confessing she wonders what her son and daughter will think about the raunchy video for the track when they see it.
"What's right for me might not be right for (my daughter), or might not be right for the next woman," she said in an interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1 on Apple Music. "But it is the way that I feel empowered in my own body and showing my own strength, and that's how I needed to be when I was 21.
"And I hope that she can be a smart, independent woman as well, and my son too, respecting women."