With a successful acting, modelling and pageantry career under her belt, some may think that Priyanka Chopra Jonas' life has been easy.
Despite being a pioneer for South Asian women around the world—and in the film industry—Chopra Jonas' time in the U.S. hasn't been without hardships, particularly when it came to facing racial discrimination due to her cultural background.
In a recent interview with PEOPLE, the 38-year-old actress discussed her upcoming memoir Unfinished, where she opens up about her childhood, and more specifically, the racist bullying she endured during her early life in the United States.
Recalling the discrimination she faced in a Massachusetts high school when she was 15-years-old, Chopra Jonas opened up about the extensive bullying she endured that was so damaging, it lead her to eventually move back to India to finish her schooling.
"I took it very personally. Deep inside, it starts gnawing at you," she told People. "I went into a shell. I was like, 'Don't look at me. I just want to be invisible.' 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."
In excerpts of her book, Chopra Jonas recalled the sickening insults thrown her way by her classmates, such as: "Brownie, go back to your country" and "Go back on the elephant you came on."
Speaking out about the verbal abuse, Chopra Jonas admitted that she doesn't blame the city of Massachusetts, saying: "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," she said.
"Now, at the other side of 35, I can say that it probably comes from a place of them being insecure. But at that time, I took it very personally."
Looking back at her decision to move back to India to finish her secondary schooling, Chopra Jonas admits that it was for the best, admitting: "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,' she noted.
"In America, I was trying not to be different. Right? I was trying to fit in and I wanted to be invisible. When I went to India, I chose to be different."