Mariah Carey "didn't fit in" with beauty ideals when she was young.
The 52-year-old singer admitted her biracial heritage set her apart as "other" when she was growing up in a small town on New York's Long Island and her family didn't have the money for her to spend on looking after her appearance.
She reflected to People magazine: "That's when I learned I was definitely 'other'.
"It would've been great to actually be a chameleon, but I didn't have the tools for it, meaning we didn't have money.
"For people in the white neighbourhoods where we lived, it was clear that I was mixed with something.
"I wasn't, like, the little girl living next door, with the silky long hair and freckles. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, she's what beauty is supposed to be.' And I didn't fit in with that.
"I had, like, three shirts, and my hair was textured, honey."
"But it was several textures, and we were not working together. I don't wanna use the word 'neglected,' but it wasn't a fashion show."
If the 'Hero' singer - who has 11-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe with ex-husband Nick Cannon - could offer some advice to her younger self, it would be to save up her money to buy conditioner, and to leave her eyebrows alone.
Asked what she'd tell her 12-year-old self, she said: "'Save up your money. Buy some conditioner and a comb, just wet your hair, keep the conditioner on it, and let it air-dry. You'll be okay.'
"Oh, and I would've said, 'Please don't shave your eyebrows. It's never gonna look good on you.' "
Mariah has channelled her childhood experiences into her new kids' book, 'The Christmas Princess', with a positive message at the heart of the story.
She said: "It's a lot about surviving the bullies that are making [the main character] feel ashamed of who she is. She survives and finds her destiny.
"Her music rescues her. It's not a Prince Charming who comes in. She saves her own day."