Patrick DeMarchelier/Glamour
Lindzi Scharf
October 29, 2013 AT 10:15 PM EDT

Lady Gaga tops Glamour‘s 2013 Women of the Year list, appearing on the cover of the monthly magazine’s December issue.

Hailed for her “enormous conscience,” the pop star was singled out for starting a one-woman anti-bullying movement through her Born This Way Foundation. Education advocate and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai — who survived an assassination attempt by the Pakistani Taliban at the age of 15 — Net-A-Porter founder Natalie Massenet, and models Christy Turlington Burns and Liya Kebede also made the list. The names of the other honorees will be announced later this week, and will receive their awards at an event in New York City on November 11.

Bravo exec Andy Cohen interviewed Gaga for the Glamour cover story. Read on for excerpts from the conversation, including what Gaga told Cohen when he asked her whether she considers herself to be beautiful and if she wears over-the-top costumes to hide her insecurities.

On projecting an air of confidence: “I’m confident in who I am. I’ve come to a place in my life where I’ve accepted things that are me, as opposed to feeling pressure to explain myself to people around me. That’s just the way I’ve always tried to be. It didn’t change when I became a star.”

On the subject of her outward appearance: “If there was some sort of mathematical equation for beauty, I don’t know if I would be the algorithm. I’ve always been OK with that. I’m not a supermodel.”

On whether she’s “afraid of what’s under all those layers” of her extravagant costumes: “I would say that I am. Maybe it’s from the things I experienced in my past, you know? Being beautiful is not so fun when you’re in a business with all men… in some ways, the outfits — these creations are because I don’t want to face the reality of what people want from a female pop star. Everybody always laughs because I feel so much more comfortable with, like, a giant paper bag on my whole body and paint on my face.”

On her mission to promote self-acceptance and tolerance: “My ambition was never to rule the world. It was always to change the world.”

The singer posed for the cover wearing a simple Gucci wrap dress, minimal makeup, and wind-blown hair. Glamour‘s Women of the Year issue hits newsstands next week.

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