"It was such a hamster wheel," she told the publication. "I signed on to a show where the blind audition element was something interesting, something genuine. After a while, though, you start to see that everyone is good-looking."
"It wasn't a comfortable place for me to be, where I'm just part of a money-making machine. When I stop believing in something, then it's like, 'What am I doing here?' I think I did choose to, no pun intended, take a chair for so long and do something very commercial for my little ones," she continued. "But at a certain point I felt like I'm not even doing them a service by cheating myself and what I'm here to do. They should be seeing mommy live her best life."
"Once again, I found myself in that place where I'm being told what to do, what's going to be acceptable or unacceptable, what's okay or not okay," she said of her run on the reality singing competition. "It's like, God, you know, I'm a mother of two now. The genie is out of the bottle."
Aguilera also addressed rumors she left because Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani's then-burgeoning relationship was stealing the spotlight.
"No, it never had anything to do with any one person at all. And I actually think it's really cute Blake and Gwen found love in that chaotic environment," she said. "I fought for a long time to get two females in the chairs. And, for a long time, I was just told it wasn't the demographic. But just know that I was a fighter behind the scenes."
The W Magazine interview was done the same day Kanye West declared that slavery was "a choice" on "TMZ Live." Considering Aguilera collaborated with West on two songs on her upcoming album, his behavior was also a topic of conversation.
"Kanye, you know, he says things. His mind works in mysterious ways," she said. "I'll just say that. I've always been a fan of his music.... If anything, he gives with his gut. You get the sense, though, that there's a good guy there. Sometimes we're all just a little misunderstood."
She also talked about her new collaboration with Demi Lovato, the just-released single "Fall In Line." While the song is a female empowerment anthem, Aguilera says it's not a product of Donald Trump's presidency or the #MeToo movement.
"'Liberation' is about me getting back to that little-girl me," Aguilera said of her album. "You hear 'Fall in Line' and maybe think it was inspired by this time and it's not. It was created years ago. It's something I've always felt very strongly."