Mariah Carey Opens Up About Her Struggles With Low Self-Esteem

"I have always had low self-esteem, and people do not recognize that."

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Mariah Carey's name may be synonymous with words like "glamour" and "diva," but during a recent interview — which took place in an all-white room filled with Jo Malone candles, as I imagine all Mariah Carey interviews do — the icon herself opened up about the side of her that fans don't usually get to see.

"I just feel like I am a regular human being and I deserve the same respect as anybody else," Carey told Page Six after her Madison Square Garden show on Saturday. "I have always had low self-esteem, and people do not recognize that."

"I can't measure what type of respect I deserve — I really can't," she added.

Carey's insecurity seems to come from feeling like an outsider as a child.

"Growing up different, being biracial, having the whole thing where I did not know if I fit in … That is why music became such a big part of my life, because it helped me overcome those issues," she said. "Sometimes it is hard to let your guard down."

Carey's insecurities are so bad, in fact, that she finds it hard to trust that others are telling the truth when they compliment her.

"I do think to myself, 'Did they mean this? Or do they not really mean it?'" she explained. "And that is with everybody — it is not just with three people or just one."

Carey went on to talk about her humble beginnings, explaining that her pre-fame life involved a lot of hungry nights.

"I remember it not being easy getting a record deal. Making demos in the middle of the night, sleeping on the floor in the studio, being broke with no food," she said. "My go-to meal was [Newman's Own] sauce. Me and my friend would split the pasta and sauce for, like, a week. Or it was, like, a bagel and iced tea . . . The guy would give it to me at the deli for free."

Those days are far behind her, though — it's safe to say that Mariah Carey can afford to buy her own bagels, and these days, she's working on a new fragrance and new music.

"I don't have a name," she said of the in-progress scent. "But it is with Elizabeth Arden. It smells like success. There is also a secret song I have been working on."

[Photo: Getty Images]

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