WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Hillary Clinton told an 11-year-old girl interviewing her for Elle magazine not to be discouraged by childhood setbacks, recalling that as a young girl she was once given a haircut so bad that she was embarrassed to go to school.
The interview is the latest in a series of moments emphasizing Clinton's personal story as a young woman facing insecurities and her years as a working mother.
Clinton participated in a question-and-answer session with Marley Dias, who started an online list of "1000 black girl books" after realizing it was tough to find novels with young black female characters who appealed to her.
In the interview, Dias asked Clinton what insecurities she had in middle school. Clinton responded, telling the story of a haircut gone awry that caused her great embarrassment.
"It was my first week of high school, and I was excited and nervous. At that time, I wore my hair in a ponytail or held back with a headband. When I saw the older girls with their hair in little bobs, I thought that looked so much more grown-up, so I begged my mother to take me to a real beauty parlor to get my hair cut. Our neighbor recommended a man who had a small shop behind a grocery store, and he got distracted talking to my mother and hacked off a huge chunk of my hair! I was mortified. So I tried to fix it by wearing a fake ponytail to school. And then a friend of mine accidentally pulled it off in front of everyone. Which of course was a nightmare. At the time, I felt like it might have been the worst moment of my life.
"Now that I'm older, I have a little more perspective. But I certainly remember what it was like to be your age and be so worried about what people thought of me. And I'm glad I didn't know back then that I had a whole life ahead of me of people commenting on my hair!"
The interview is not Clinton's first encounter with a young woman on the campaign trail recently that provided the Democratic nominee occasion to present her softer side.
Earlier this week at a "family town hall" Clinton was asked by a 15-year-old girl what advice she had to help overcome Trump's unflattering descriptions of women's looks.
"At my school, body image is a really big issue for girls my age," said Brennan Leach, 15, a high school sophomore from suburban Philadelphia. "I see with my own eyes the damage Donald Trump does when he talks about women and how they look."
Clinton heaped praise on Leach for the question and encouraged her not to take demeaning comments about her appearance to heart.
Clinton brought up Alicia Machado, the 1996 Miss Universe pageant winner, who Trump called "Miss Piggy" after she gained weight.
"My opponent insulted Miss Universe! How do you get more acclaimed than that? But it wasn't good enough."
Clinton's campaign has launched attacks on Trump over his controversial comments about women in the past. An attack ad uses Trump's words calling a woman a "fat pig" and other insults, as images of teenage girls looking into the mirror flash on the screen.