Nicknames like "Brownie" and "Curry" were the norm.

By Alicia Brunker
Updated: May 16, 2019 @ 9:01 am

High school can be rough for just about anyone, celebrities included. 

And while Priyanka Chopra may be an international movie star, former beauty queen, and wife to a super accomplished musician, she admits it took hard work to overcome the low self-esteem she experienced while being constantly bullied for her skin color as a teenager. 

James Devaney/Getty Images

Bouncing around from schools in Massachusetts, Iowa, and New York, the Quantico star revealed that she was the victim of racist taunts from other students. "I was treated differently because I’m brown," she told the Associated Press. "I had, you know, really racist behavior when I was in high school in 10th grade. I was called ‘Brownie,’ ‘Curry,’ [told to] ‘go back on the elephant you came on,’ and that really affected me when I was a kid and affected my self-esteem." 

In the past, Chopra has been candid about how she used to loathe her darker complexion. "A lot of girls who have a darker skin hear things like, 'Oh, poor thing, she’s dark. Poor thing, it’ll be hard for her.' In India they advertise skin-lightening creams: 'Your skin’s gonna get lighter in a week.' I used it [when I was very young]. Then when I was an actor, around my early twenties, I did a commercial for a skin-lightening cream," she told Glamour back in 2017. 

RELATED: Priyanka Chopra Lost a Movie Role Because of Her Skin Color

"I was playing that girl with insecurities," Priyanka continued. "And when I saw it, I was like, 'Oh shit. What did I do?' And I started talking about being proud of the way I looked. I actually really like my skin tone." 

Now, after embracing her unconventional look, Chopra is determined to spread the message of self-love to others. "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," she explained to AP. "I do want to create a world where my future kids don't have to think about diversity, where they're not talking about it because it's normal." Preach, Priyanka!

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