nicola

Exclusive: Nicola Roberts talks empowering women and why Angelina Jolie inspires her

by Julie Delahaye

Nicola Roberts is on a mission to help empower other women as she fronts Special K's new Strength Is campaign. The former Girls Aloud singer has revealed that many women have inspired her and none more so than Angelina Jolie, who famously juggles her humanitarian work with the UN alongside an impressive Hollywood career and motherhood.

"I think that Angelina Jolie is incredible with the work she does," the 30-year-old told HELLO! Online exclusively. "The humanitarian work that she does, then still having all of her children and having such an incredible career – and always looking flawless! She really seems to have taken control of everything and it's really impressive."

CLICK TO VIEW GALLERY

nicola roberts

Nicola Roberts has spoken exclusively to HELLO! Online about empowering women

It's not just Angelina who inspires Nicola. The singer and songwriter admitted that sometimes all it takes is a catch-up with close friends Kimberley Walsh and Cheryl to give her a boost of confidence, adding that she feels a noticeable difference after spending quality time with the pair.

Scroll below for the full video 

"Me, Cheryl and Kimberley always say if we haven't seen each other for a little while, as soon as you've had a recap and a catch-up, I don't know, I think maybe it's because we're used to working together for so many years that we always would have to be strong, have to be constantly making decisions," she explained. "There would always be a defence mechanism there naturally, so once we regroup, we're like, 'Okay, we've got our fix, we're back, we're strong.'"

Angelina Jolie red carpet

She revealed Angelina Jolie is one of her biggest inspirations

When it comes to staying strong, Nicola revealed that she follows a healthy lifestyle, mixing running and dance workouts to stay in shape – and there's one singer whose music keeps her motivated. "If I ever want to feel empowered, then I'll put on Beyoncé!" she revealed.

Having always followed a healthy lifestyle, the singer confessed that an illness earlier this year led to her giving her diet an overhaul – including cutting out red meat - in a bid to recover.

"So I was on a mission to eat well, cut out all alcohol, started to take more supplements and vitamins and stuff like that," she said. "I was watching all of these documentaries about what foods are good for you, what's terrible for the gut." She explained: "Just to try and get me stronger, but I'm completely better now so it's fine."

cheryl nicola roberts kimberley walsh

Nicola said close friends Cheryl and Kimberley leave her feeling empowered

Alongside her recovery, Nicola has been hard at work writing new music. She revealed that her work has always been a key factor in keeping her focused, as well as motivated.

"I think, for me, I've worked since I was 16 so it would be odd to me not to have a goal and not to be working towards something," she said. "I'm a real career person. I haven't ever really known anything else. I think achievement and success for me is a huge drive and a huge influence on my whole mood and personality."

nicola roberts campaign

Nicola is currently fronting Special K's Strength Is campaign

Her latest project sees her taking on the Special K campaign, in which she urges women to speak up when they face negativity, whether in their personal life or in the work place. "Some work places, if somebody is calling you 'bossy', 'hysterical' or 'emotional', those are all really negative words and really they're used to dismiss somebody's passion or somebody's work ethic," the songwriter explained. "It's about understanding the language and then not accepting that language when it's aimed at you."

She later added: "I think really just the idea of the campaign itself is really encouraging and it's a good thing for women. The more people that know about it, the more women who can sit down and talk about it, it's only going to lead to them feeling more positive about themselves."

Enter Special K's new 'Strength Is' campaign, which is inviting people to share their definitions of strength for the chance to see their tweet held up by Nicola on a digital billboard in London Waterloo. Anyone can get involved by tweeting using the hashtag #StrengthIs.

More on: