Christina Aguilera's talent was clear when her self titled debut album came out, though it may be bubblegum pop. She was talented way before that, of course, it's just that many of us haven't gotten to hear it.
"Stripped" is an amazing, heartfelt album (she co-wrote fourteen of the songs) that shows off her talent and gives us a look at the real her, the one who isn't perfect and doesn't really care, either. The first one is actually worth listening to as well, since it's her voice, not so much the music, that I like. If someone else sang some of her material, I might not enjoy it as much.
No matter that she dresses the way she does; I can ignore that and even find it interesting; it's great that she's not embarrassed to dress that way. She has a talent that totally blows away Britney Spears and all the other blonde teenagers who came out with a pop album around 1999. I don't understand why early on she was compared to Britney so often (alright, it was because of their hair color, etc....I know), when she should have been compared more often to people like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. She has been, yes, it just seems that more often it was a comparison to someone who, next to her, had next to no talent.
Christina may not be a role model in the way she dresses, but she's definitely a role model in that she is nobody but herself anymore, and she won't even try to be. She is a wonderful singer and had the drive to follow her dream, even though sometimes it probably seemed like she would never be able to be a singer (how could she not, with such a great voice?). Young girls look up to this, and that's a good thing, in my opinion.
The only problem with her is that she can't seem to come up with new albums fast enough to satisfy me. :)