The 'Super Bass' rapstress says posing with barely makeup on is 'scary,' and explains her tough childhood results in her putting her guard up all the time.
Nicki Minaj gets make-under for her photoshoot with Elle. The "American Idol" judge strips off her trademark heavy makeup, colorful wig, and wacky costume for a more natural look for her picture on the cover of Elle's latest issue and her spread inside the magazine.
The female rapper admits she was initially uncomfortable going au natural in front of the camera. "When I saw myself with barely any makeup at, it was such a... like, I'm so, so attached to my pink lipstick, it's hard. I feel that it's become a part of me," she explains.
"To go in front of the camera, without pink lips or big ol' crazy lashes - you know, nothing - I felt naked. It was scary!" she adds, before giving herself a little pat on the shoulder for daring to go out of her comfort zone, "So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes."
Minaj graces the magazine's front page in a black leather jacket. She keeps her makeup simple, but still manages to look sexy as her jacket is unzipped to shows off her cleavage. She poses in various skin-tight numbers with minimized makeup for the spread inside the magazine.
The "Super Bass" hitmaker also says it's tough growing up as a child of immigrants. "I went through a lot of bullying early on. Girls made my life a living hell," she reveals. "We had come to America from a different country [Trinidad]. My brother and I had accents. It was very tough."
She continues, "So I've always put up this wall - it was a self-defense mechanism growing up - because I was almost expecting people to attack me. And I still have it. It's sad."
She shares words of wisdom for fellow working females like her out there. "Even if you're doing a nine-to-five job, treat yourself like a boss," she says. "Not arrogant, but be sure of what you want and don't allow people to run anything for you without your knowledge."
Now that she has accomplished her goal as one of successful young artists, she sets her eyes on something bigger. "I'm thinking of a legacy that I can be proud of and wealth that my grandchildren can use to go to college," she says. "So world domination - in terms of providing for my family - is absolutely my goal."