Nicole Sherzinger, 41, was born Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente in Honolulu, Hawaii. Nicole rose to fame as the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls which was one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. Her captivating beauty and charismatic personality helped her successfully venture into television with shows such as Dancing with the Stars, The Sing-Off and The X Factor. Earlier this year, the star revealed her health troubles in the hopes of inspiring others to seek help.
Nicole spoke about her struggles with body dysmorphia and eating disorders as part of the Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf mental health awareness campaign.
Nicole shared advice she would have told her younger self, explaining all the hardships she went through were preparing her for something bigger.
Speaking about the difficulties she endured when younger, Nicole said: “Growing up I really struggled with feeling like I fit in.
“I even had a hard time feeling like I fit into my own skin.
“I was just really hard on myself, I had a lot of struggles with self-esteem and a lot of insecurities and later on that resulted in me having eating disorders because of my body dysmorphia.
“I was just really hard on myself and I didn’t like myself very much.”
Nicole’s parents separated when she was still a baby and her mother later moved the family to Louisville, Kentucky.
Sherzinger states, that, growing up, her family did not have a lot of money, and she credits her mother for supporting her on her route to become what she is today.
Nicole’s university days saw her win a scholarship and she majored in theatre arts and dance, receiving the Alumna of the Year Award for her performances.
The singer then rose to fame during her 20s appearing in a variety of girl bands before finally securing her place as a global superstar in the girl group The Pussycat Dolls.
However, through all her ongoing accolades and success, Nicole struggled with how she viewed herself against others.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental disorder in which a person can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in their appearance.
The NHS said: “People of any age can have BDD, but it’s most common in teenagers and young adults. It can affect both men and women.”
Symptoms of BDD include:
- Worrying a lot about a specific area of your body
- Spending a lot of time comparing your looks with other people’s
- Looking at yourself in mirrors a lot or avoiding mirrors altogether
- Going to a lot of effort to conceal flaws
- Picking at your skin to make it “smooth”
Nicole eventually began to accept herself and as her career grew from strength to strength, earning herself a spot on the judging panel for The X Factor, so her dysmorphia subsided.
The star said if she could give advice to her younger self, she’d tell her the challenges she was facing were all preparing her for something much bigger.
“I would tell my younger self that you are perfect just the way God made you. You are precious and you have purpose.
“You’re going to go through a lot of pain and struggles in life but there is purpose in that pain and there’s a bigger plan.
“Even though you feel like you don’t fit in, it’s because you’re not meant to fit in, you’re meant to stand out.
“Just hold on, don’t give up. Don’t let anyone else, not even yourself, get in the way of who you are and who you were created to be,” said Nicole.
The NHS added: “You should visit a GP if you think you might have BDD. They’ll probably ask a number of questions about your symptoms and how they affect your life.
“A GP may refer you to a mental health specialist for further assessment and treatment.”