Priyanka Chopra Jonas once temporarily broke up with America — and this was the best decision she ever could’ve made.
The 38-year-old opened up about her experiences leading up to the choice, speaking to People in an exclusive interview which will release this Friday, January 22. She’s of course promoting her new memoir, Unfinished, and went into great detail about her relationship with the US in her book.
Priyanka, who was born in India, says she experienced a TON of racist bullying during her years attending an American high school. It got so bad that young girls would shout out racial slurs and demand that she return to India on an elephant.
What is wrong with people?!
The actress understandably withdrew after being treated this way and found herself acting uncharacteristically reserved. She admitted:
“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.”
And this is coming from the woman who would go on to be Miss World in 2000! The point is, negativity effects us ALL — even the most self-assured and confident individuals.
During the interview, the Quantico star added:
“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. 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.”
Fortunately for Priyanka, she was able to make a phone call back home to her parents and let them know she couldn’t stay in America any longer. They happily welcomed her back, and she finished the rest of her schooling in India. Once she returned, Chopra explained:
“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.”
And one of the things she realized was that she shouldn’t conform to anyone’s definition of who she’s meant to be. What really stood out to us reading this interview was the moment when she stressed:
“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.”
Wow. Those are such amazing words to live by.
Despite her challenging road in the US, Priyanka’s decision to return to India, and to be HERSELF, ended up leading her to many different opportunities. She began acting on the stage, where all of her friends and peers constantly pointed out how talented she was, which then led to her eventual success in Bollywood. She’s now worked internationally and in Hollywood and has a marriage to Nick Jonas that so many people envy.
We guess the moral of the story here is: sometimes we have to deal with the darkness to recognize our own internal power.
We’re so grateful to Priyanka for opening up about her struggles, and we’re SO stoked to read her new memoir, which releases on February 9!
[Image via Instagram/Priyanka Chopra Jonas]