NEW YORK – Mariah Carey knows her indisputable talent clashes with her sexed-up image as a "ditz."
"It's a dichotomy, I understand," the 37-year-old Grammy winner tells Allure magazine. "I understand that people think I am a ditzy moron."
The singer — who was treated for exhaustion in 2001 after a public meltdown — says she still struggles with her confidence.
"I've always had really low self-esteem, and I still do," she says. "What's weird about that is being onstage, and the love that you get, and the adoration that you feel from your real fans. It's hard for a partner to compete — just imagine."
Carey and ex-husband Tommy Mottola, the former chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, divorced in 1997. She has described that relationship as controlling and says: "I had to make a decision: either lose myself completely or learn to stand up for myself. You have to be very courageous to do that."
She says she'd marry again — preferably, to someone who knows where she's coming from.
"That's a big deal for me: feeling like somebody else can't fully understand me because they're not in show business. It shouldn't matter, but it does, because the energy it takes to be `on' is a lot," she says.
Carey's latest album, EMC2, arrives April 15. Her previous album, "The Emancipation of Mimi," has sold 10 million copies.
The April issue of Allure hits newsstands nationwide on March 25.