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"I think a lot of people in this industry did kind of dismiss me because they thought I was too nice," the 27-year-old Glassheart creator tells Mail Online's You mag.
"People would say, 'Oh my God, why are you so polite? Why don't you do anything interesting or scandalous like take drugs?' It's weird in the music industry because you are damned if you do the bad stuff and damned if you don't," Leona says.
Despite industry pressures, the "X Factor U.K." champ insists she's staying true to herself, with the help of the "X Factor" family, and its creator Simon Cowell. "The great thing about 'The X Factor' is that it's about voice and personality, but outside that in this industry -- for female artists -- it's about looks."
"It can be fine to embrace your femininity and your sexiness," Leona admits, "but sometimes with some girl performers it goes over the line and verges on porn and that's when I think, 'What are you doing? That's gross, have some self-respect'."
Unlike some of her pop peers who have shunned the "role model" title, Lewis embraces the fact that she is in a unique position to positively influence her young female fans.
"I would like to be a positive force for young girls. I'm not an angel -- I mean, I have read and enjoyed 'Fifty Shades of Grey' -- but when I am making videos 100 percent of what influences me is, 'Would I be comfortable with my 6-year-old goddaughter Faith watching this?' Because I have seen her doing inappropriate raunchy dances from other videos she has seen and I am like, 'No! Don't do that'."
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