Rapper/actress Queen Latifah has finally accepted her body after years of struggling with her weight - because she is proud to be a role model to young girls who are worried about their size.
The voluptuous star has long been plagued by fears about her bodyshape and recently signed up as a spokeswoman for a U.S. diet program which has seen her shed a few pounds.
Although she has retained her curves, Queen Latifah admits she is now happy with her 'plus-size' figure - and credits a chance conversation with a chauffeur for giving her some confidence back.
She says, "I was in Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. I was at the airport and the limo driver told me about his 12-year-old daughter, who wanted to be a singer and had a beautiful voice. However, her classmates were teasing her about her body and telling her she was never going to make it.
"She saw me perform on TV and I inspired her to sing again. She saw me and my appearance and my success and the great job I did. This was a 12-year-old kid whose dream had been halted by negative comments, but she saw me deliver a knock-out performance and it made her believe she could become successful too."
Latifah now hopes she can now inspire youngsters to learn to love their looks. She adds, "I have heard a lot of stories like that and they inspire me to keep going and keep being myself."