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Nicki Minaj Tones It Down for "Elle," Says "World Domination" Is Her Goal

Image courtesy of Thomas Whiteside/ELLE Magazine (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Thomas Whiteside/ELLE Magazine (via ABC News Radio)

If you're tired of looking at Nicki Minaj's endless array of crazy wigs and overdone makeup on American Idol and elsewhere , pick up the new issue of Elle magazine for an au naturel look at the rapper.  She posed for the cover and accompanying shoot with minimal makeup and no wigs. 

"I’m so, so attached to my pink lipstick, it’s hard. I feel that it's become a part of me," Nicki tells Elle . "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.”

Inside the magazine, Nicki discusses her struggles to fit in as a child, and how she learned to gain respect.

"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," she tells Elle . "So I’ve always put up this wall...because I was almost expecting people to attack me. And I still have it. It’s sad."

Even so, the American Idol judge says she's also learned the key to self-confidence, which she's happy to share.

"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," she explains . "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.”

Nicki also reveals her long-term goal, which is ambitious, to say the least.  Noting that at first, her only goal was to buy her mom a house, she now tells Elle that she wants "a legacy that I can be proud of and wealth that my grandchildren can use to go to college."  In order to get that, the rapper says she plans to "build an empire." Declares Nicki: "World domination -- in terms of providing for my family -– is absolutely my goal.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio