Nicola Roberts has opened up about her struggles with being fair-skinned as she makes a documentary looking at the issue of tanning.
The Girls Aloud singer wanted to be tanned like her bandmates – so that people would find her attractive.
She told Heat: “I used to think the only way to look beautiful was to be brown – I thought that by being brown like them (the rest of Girls Aloud) I would look more attractive.
“I was constantly striving to please people and be something I wasn’t.”
The stunning redhead couldn’t stand looking at herself without a tan and would spend hours applying fake tan.
She explained: “I hated it with a passion – I felt like I stood out for all the wrong reasons.
“Everyone said, ‘You look so much better’, but when I saw it played back, all I thought was, ‘I look ugly’.
“I would get in at midnight but instead of going to bed straight away I’d be in the shower applying fake tan.
“I’d be crying because I was so tired, but I’d be saying to myself ‘No pain, no gain’.
“I honestly thought that by having a tan the next day I would look better and people would like me more.”
Nicola’s perception of her skin colour changed when she got into fashion.
“I stopped being so narrow-minded about what was ‘beautiful’ – I would look at people like Lily Cole and Sophie Ellis-Bextor and think, ‘They’re not your average beautiful girl, but they look nice. Maybe I’m a bit like that, a bit quirky’,” she added.
Nicola Roberts: The Truth About Tanning is on BBC3 on February 4 at 9pm.