Gabrielle would never sit “crying in a corner” over the cruel taunts she received at an all-girls school for her lazy eye, and instead used the bullying to build up her resilience.
The Out of Reach star suffers from medical condition ptosis – a drooping or falling of the upper eyelid – and either wears an eye patch or styles her hair over the affected eye when she’s performing.
In an interview with the Daily Mail newspaper, Gabrielle credited her time at an all-girls school for helping her toughen up when it comes to dealing with any comments about her condition.
“At school I used to have the mickey taken out of me on a daily basis because I had a lazy eyelid,” she explained.
“I had several operations — it used to flicker uncontrollably because the muscle had died. I went to an all-girls school, and, although I’m a woman’s woman, girls can be so mean. They’d say: ‘Why are you winking at me?’ But I was resilient. I wasn’t going to be crying in the corner,” the singer recalled.
Gabrielle, who has just dropped her new album Do It Again, also revealed that she’s got happier as she’s aged – and has embraced every aspect of getting older.
“When I turned 40, my mum said: ‘You’re the happiest 40-year-old I know.’ I was shocked people got upset about it,” she mused.
“I couldn’t wait to be 40. And then I couldn’t wait to be 50. I’m loving it. I’m lucky I don’t have many grey hairs, but I shouldn’t say lucky because you should wear them with pride,” she shared, adding: “If you want to colour it, that’s fine, too, but it’s a badge of honour just to be here to see my grey hairs. I’ve had friends who died young. I bet they’d love to be able to sit around here complaining about things they’re not happy with.”