Mariah Carey Shares Her 12-Year-Old Self Advice: Avoid Shaving Your Eyebrows

When Mariah Carey was twelve years old, she encountered some difficult but worthwhile life lessons, some of which are outlined in her recently released children's book, The Christmas Princess.   

The 52-year-old singer exclusively tells PEOPLE, "That's when I learned I was definitely 'other.'"   

She is alluding to her upbringing in a small village on Long Island, New York, with her father, a Black man, and her mother, a white woman.   

"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," she says.   

Carey explains, "For people in the white neighborhoods where we lived, it was clear that I was mixed with something." She adds that her family traveled around a lot.   

"I wasn't the young child next door, with the long, silky hair and freckles. She recalls, "I was like, 'Oh my gosh, she's what beauty is supposed to be." "And I didn't fit in with that."

Carey is now regarded as a style icon by people all around the world. However, in her earlier years, "my hair was textured, honey, and I had like three shirts."   

"But it was several textures, and we were not working together," she continues. "I don't wanna use the word 'neglected,' but it wasn't a fashion show."   

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