Shakira was overweight as a teenager but was too focused on becoming a successful singer to care, although she is now happy to flaunt her sexy body.
Shakira was a "plump" teenager.
The 'She Wolf' singer admits she has not always been in such good shape but has always been too preoccupied with her music to care about her looks.
She said: "As a teenager I was plump but my appearance wasn't so important at that time. I focused much more on my music and song writing.
"I know that image in this profession is a matter of opinion. I think the external appearance in show business is important and over the years I've discovered my assets. Honestly, I've never seen myself as a goddess or sex symbol."
The 32-year-old Columbian singer now has more body confidence and is happy to show off her sexy figure in skimpy outfits.
She said: "We all have our insecurities but I used to have more of those days in my twenties. I found nothing satisfied me and I just wanted to hide from the world.
"You should always make the most of what you've got and I think I've tried my entire life to figure it out.
"I wouldn't have made a video like 'She Wolf' when I was younger, that's for sure. Now you never know what could happen with them."
While the singer is happy to bare her flesh professionally, she admits she prefers to cover up when she is out of the spotlight.
She told Germany's FHM magazine: "When I perform I feel free. But when I'm on the beach I don't run around topless or wobble with my hips. Perhaps it's difficult to understand but I'm kind of shy when it comes to my body."