Britney Spears opened up about feeling like an "ugly duckling" as a kid and the heartbreaking reason why her bangs gave her a sense of security.

On Monday (May 18), the "Oops... I Did It Again" hitmaker got candid about the meaning behind one of her signature hairstyles in a lengthy Instagram post, revealing she wasn't always confident about her appearance while growing up.

"Who would have thought bangs could make you look waaaaay younger?” Spears began her caption. "I stopped having bangs in the [third] grade and I remember like it was yesterday... it was such a big deal to expose my forehead... only pretty people in the south could do that and I never felt pretty enough to pull it off."

"All the beauty pageant girls did it but I never felt beauty pageants were my thing... I had bad teeth and felt like an ugly duckling," she continued.

The 38-year-old also recalled going to a modeling agency and being told she "wasn't pretty enough" to join.

"So I went home and said, 'maybe I can be like the older girls and show my forehead'," Spears wrote. "I did and it looked sooooo bad but I thought I was gorgeous!!!! I think I knew it didn’t look good but I did it because I thought it made me cool... and I’ve pretty much had it like that ever since!!!!"

"People choose different ways to protect themselves," she explained. "When I pull my bangs in front of my head I feel like I’m protected... almost like I’m in [third] grade again."

You can read Spears' full Instagram post, below:

Britney Spears Through the Years

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