The Hero hitmaker stars in harrowing movie Precious - based on best-selling novel Push about an obese teenager who has two children through incestuous rape - and believes her music has helped girls in similar situations to the main character.
She said, "There are a lot of girls that I see at my shows that may fit the description of what people might think a Precious girl is. When I sing certain songs, you really see that it brings out emotions in them. “I see tears of gratitude or joy because they relate to the message. So that's why I continue to do songs that I feel will be uplifting."
Mariah – who plays a social worker in the film – said she could relate to the plight of the characters in Push, but it also made her more aware of other people’s suffering.
She added to Parade magazine: "I guess the button that the story pushed in me would be just empathy. I mean your heart has to go out to Precious because she is going through so much. It touched me as a woman. It touched me just as a person. “It's like you think, 'Maybe I've walked past someone who is a girl like this and not really focused on them or just totally ignored them.'
“And it's also one of those things where you relate something in yourself, your own feelings of doubt and negativity. And while you haven't suffered nearly as much, you know what you've gone through is similar.”