Nicki Mina, ELLE

Thomas Whiteside

Barbz, take note: Nicki Minaj is showing off her softer side. 

The R&B star—famous for her wild fashion and tough-girl exterior—looks stunning on the cover of Elle magazine's April issue with barely a speck of makeup on.

The sassy American Idol judge, who underwent a drastic makeunder for the photo shoot, also opened up to the mag about her experience with bullying as a child and shared her advice for women on how to command respect. 

"My advice to women in general: Even if you're doing a nine-to-five job, treat yourself like a boss," the Pink Friday star said. "Not arrogant, but be sure of what you want—and don't allow people to run anything for you without your knowledge."

She continued, sharing her secret to success in a male-dominated music industry, "You want everyone to know, Okay, I can't play games with her. I have to do right by this woman. That's what it's all about."

Minaj also revealed she was bullied as a child and explained how the constant criticism caused her to mask her sensitivity with a tough attitude at a very early age: 

"I went through a lot of bullying early on," the 30-year-old songstress confessed. "Girls made my life a living hell. We had come to America from a different country. My brother and I had accents. It was very tough. 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."

But Nicki is slowly letting her guard down, appearing on a hit reality show and constantly connecting with her passionate fans even though she admits the photo shoot was an intimidating feat without her "pink lipstick" and "big ol' crazy lashes."

"I felt naked. It was scary! So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes."

And finally, the international superstar, who not only has countless hits but also boasts a bevy of successful business endeavors, shared her plans for world domination.

"My goal in the beginning was to buy my mother a house," she said. "Now I realize, Okay, if I really focus and become a key player in business, then I can build an empire. I'm thinking of a legacy that I can be proud of and wealth that my grandchildren can use to go to college. So world domination—in terms of providing for my family—is absolutely my goal." 

Somehow, we have a feeling she'll achieve it. 

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.