Beyoncé didn’t always wake up feeling “***Flawless.”

In fact, as the 34-year-old singer reveals in a rare interview with ELLE U.K., it took a great deal of time and introspection before she learned how to embrace her flaws. Since coming to that realization, she’s made it her mission to empower young women to be their best selves. “It’s really about changing the conversation. It’s not about perfection. It’s about purpose,” Beyoncé says. “We have to care about our bodies and what we put in them. Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health—take time for self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself.” x