Priyanka Chopra talks about racist bullying she encountered as a teen in the US

Priyanka and others in her family from Mississippi to Newton when she was 12 years old, to live with their extended family

Praveena Parthiban Published :  21st January 2021 08:38 PM   |   Published :   |  21st January 2021 08:38 PM
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Priyanka Chopra

Actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas opened up about the reason behind her return to India from the US during her teen years in her memoir Unfinished, which will be released on February 9.

Priyanka and others in her family had moved to Newton city in Mississippi when she was 12 to live with their extended family. The actor reveals in the sneak peek of the book that she had been a victim of racism-based bullying when she was 15.

She said people would yell comments at her like, “Brownie, go back to your country!' and “Go back on the elephant you came on.”

"I took it very personally. Deep inside, it starts gnawing at you. I went into a shell. I was like, 'Don't look at me. I just want to be invisible,' "Priyanka said, according to media reports.

"My confidence was stripped. I've always considered myself a confident person, but I was very unsure of where I stood, of who I was,” she explained.

Now, in hindsight, she said, "I don't even blame the city, honestly. I just think it was girls who, at that age, just want to say something that'll hurt."

Priyanka added, "Now, at the other side of 35, I can say that it probably comes from a place of them being insecure."

She also spoke highly of the love and admiration she got from people at India once she returned to her home country. "I was so blessed that when I went back to India, I was surrounded by so much love and admiration for who I was. Going back to India healed me after that experience in high school," the actor said, adding that she slowly regained her confidence with help from her parents.

"In America, I was trying not to be different," she said in the book. "I was trying to fit in and I wanted to be invisible. When I went to India, I chose to be different."

Priyanka’s memoir reportedly contains personal journal entries and stories about her experiences as an actor, singer, producer, and a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.