Anne-Marie
Anne-Marie

The ‘Perfect To Me’ hitmaker has opened up about her battle with self image as a teenager and how she used to “slap” make-up on when she was at school and use it as her “mask”.

She recalled: “I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was 12. As a kid, I was confident and carefree, but when I hit my teenage years I became really shy and would always worry about people looking at me.

“I wanted to fit in at school so much that I just did what everyone else did.

“Make-up was my mask: sometimes I’d slap so much on that you couldn’t tell what my real face looked like. “Doing this totally took away my personality and I withdrew into myself.”

The ‘2002’ hitmaker says that the spotlight made her lose her “confidence” even more and she still struggles with her nerves when she is faced with a big group of people.

She explained to Glamour UK: “My shyness got worse at the start of my career.

You’d think being a singer would be good for your confidence but, for me, it was actually the opposite. “The more people I met, the more anxious I became. “I was really protective of my feelings and wary of getting mugged off.”

The 27-year-old star credits her first tour with ‘These Days’ hitmakers Rudimental and looking to fellow female stars and seeing how “happy” and “comfortable” they are in their own skin with helping her to “regain” her confidence

She said: “Four years ago, I went on tour with drum-and-bass band Rudimental, who were the first people to see potential in me.

“They taught me so much and I started to regain my confidence.

“Then one day, on our bus, I looked over at Bridgette [Amofah, from Rudimental].

“She seemed completely happy and comfortable to be on her own, and in her own world.

“I remember thinking, ‘Wow, there’s no barrier there. “She doesn’t care what people think.’ It made me want to break down my self-conscious barriers, too.”

The ‘Rewrite The Stars’ hitmaker says she is “on a journey” with her anxiety, which she has sought therapy for, as she still worries that people won’t like her when she walks into a room or enjoy her concerts – but she says that being open and talking to other people about how she is feeling has been invaluable.

She said: “As well as getting therapy, I looked at other women who were close to me – such as Jaz [Jazmin Sherman], my manager, and Jenn [Jennifer Decilveo], who I wrote my first album with.

“They embrace who they are, which has inspired confidence in me.

“It’s been a journey – and one that I’m still on – my brain is overactive and I go through weird phases with myself.

“I struggle with walking into new places and anxious thoughts often flood my mind, such as whether people will enjoy my performances.

“It can be overwhelming, but talking to people helps, and I learn a lot from everyone I meet.

“The more I’m pushed out of my comfort zone, the more I see that what I’m worried about will actually be fine.”

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