Nicki Minaj covers the April 2013 issue of Elle and talks about her reinvention and more.
On dealing with bullies growing up
“I went through a lot of bullying early on. 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.”
On being comfortable wearing less makeup
“I’m so, so attached to my pink lipstick, it’s hard. I feel that it’s become a part of me. To go in front of the camera, without pink lips or big ol’ crazy lashes— you know, nothing— I felt naked. It was scary! So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes.”
On advice for women in the workplace
“My advice to women in general: Even if you’re doing a nine-to-five job, treat yourself like a boss. Not arrogant, but be sure of what you want— and don’t allow people to run anything for you without your knowledge. 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.