By Jennifer Merritt
Apr 01, 2016 @ 3:15 pm
Maarten de Boer/Getty Images

This is not an April Fools' Day joke: Priyanka Chopra didn't always consider herself beautiful.

In this month's #innerstyle column, the star of Quantico and former Miss World tells I Am That Girl's Emily Greener that even today, looking back at pictures from her beauty pageant days, she sees a "gawky" 17-year-old. "I wasn't the prettiest girl in the room, but I learned to carry myself with confidence—that's how you make the best impression on people," she says.

VIDEO: Priyanka Chopra: "I Believe in a Woman Having Curves"

Still, that path to confidence wasn't easy. She's talked candidly about the bullying she experienced as a young girl, and how her father helped her overcome it. And now, she's using her fame to share those lessons her parents taught her to young women everywhere: "In New York, a 13-year-old Indian girl came up to me crying, saying to everyone nearby, 'This is where I come from,'" she recalls. "It's easy to forget that actors have the ability to instill a sense of self in viewers. That's the greatest compliment."

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