Priyanka Chopra has admitted her self-esteem was affected when she was bullied over her skin color in school.
The Indian born actress spoke out about the bullying and the effect it had on her in an interview with the Associated Press, and explained she “was treated differently because I’m brown”.
“I had, you know, really racist behavior when I was in high school in 10th grade,” Priyanka told the news outlet. “I was called Brownie, Curry, go back on the elephant you came on, and that really affected me when I was a kid and affected my self-esteem.”
The actress, who married American singer Nick Jonas in August 2018, has previously opened up about using skin lightening cream to Vogue India in 2017 after being subjected to criticism over her complexion. She went on to explain she believes this kind of discrimination has evolved “over eons”, and is an effect of learned behavior.
“The way we treat people differently comes from cultural, subliminal messaging that has happened over eons,” she continued. “The more we can talk about it and open other people’s eyes and say, ‘It doesn’t have to be that way,’ and give them more examples, I guess society will change.”
After experiencing the racist abuse, however, Priyanka is now determined to help others and create a better world for her “future kids”.
The 36-year-old recently partnered with Obagi Medical for a global awareness initiative called SKINCLUSION, which is “dedicated to elevating the global dialogue about diversity and how we can all make conscious choices to see the beauty in all of our differences”.
She added: “I do want to create a world for my future kids where they don’t have to think about diversity, where they’re not talking about it because it’s normal.”