Calling all Barbz! The Nicki Minaj who we know and love for her whimsical wigs, colorful couture, and her motley makeup has been made under for ELLE magazine’s April cover. And we have to say, we love this more neutral version of the eccentric star just as much! But don’t think that the American Idol judge’s new look means a more mellow Minaj! Photographer Thomas Whiteside captured the “Super Bass” spitfire unzipped, as she opened up to the glossy about being bullied as a child after relocating to the U.S.; how women should carry themselves like bosses; and her plan to takeover the world while taking care of her family. You can get your hands on a copy of Minaj’s spring ELLE cover on April 26th, but in the meantime, here are a few excerpts from her revealing interview.
On her dramatic make under for her ELLE photo shoot:
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. 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 experiencing bullying in school as a child:
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.
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. 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.
On her plans for world domination:
My goal in the beginning was to buy my mother a house. 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.