November 11th, 2011
03:33 PM ET
Like many celebs, Madonna says she didn’t fit in as a teenager. The 53-year-old pop icon tells Harper’s Bazaar that her refusal to conform didn't go over well with her peers.
"I saw how popular girls had to behave to get the boys," she recalls in the magazine’s December issue. "I knew I couldn't fit into that. So I decided to do the opposite. I refused to wear makeup, to have a hairstyle. I refused to shave. I had hairy armpits."
As a result, young Madge’s hirsute state drew insults like “hairy monster” from students at her Midwest high school, where she says she was “tortured.” “The boys in my school would make fun of me,” she says.
Though she grew up to become a sexual icon, Madonna says that when she was young, “straight men did not find me attractive.” But she now knows why: “I think they were scared of me because I was different.”
Although she didn’t let the taunting stop her from succeeding in life, Madonna says that adolescent trauma is still with her. "For some reason, I feel like I never left high school, because I still feel that if you don't fit in, you're going to get your ass kicked," she says. "That hasn't really changed for me. I've always been acutely aware of differences and the way you are supposed to act if you want to be popular."
Read the full interview in the December issue of Harper's Bazaar, on newsstands November 29.
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