Priyanka Chopra on overcoming being bullied: 'I got up one day and said enough'

Priyanka Chopra has achieved great success in her career, from starring in close to 50 Hindi movies and ABC’s new thriller Quantico, but getting to this stage in her life was not an easy road. Growing up, the actress admits in a new interview with NEW YOU that she did not have the confidence she has today. The Bollywood sensation, who hails from a small town in India, reveals that she was bullied while attending high school in America.

Photo: Andrew Macpherson for NEW YOU magazine

"There was this bunch of girls who were just mean to me,” she said in an interview with NEW YOU’s executive editor Ruchel Louis Coetzee. "When you are 14 and 15, it’s a big deal to be called 'brownie' and hear, 'Go back to your country.' At the time, I was really scared. I felt I could not deal with it and thought I should go home.”

The actress eventually found her confidence when she returned home and went on to win the titles of Miss India and Miss World. Reflecting back on her youth, Priyanka says, “I had major self-esteem issues growing up and was always very nervous and scared as a kid."

But there was a defining moment that changed her perspective of herself. She explains, "I got up one day and said, 'Enough.' The color of my skin, the hair I have—there are so many things about me that may not be conventional. But as soon as I chose to own it and walk out the door wearing confidence, people looked at me differently.”

Photo: Andrew Macpherson for NEW YOU magazine

Now gracing the cover of NEW YOU magazine and looking as confident as ever, the 33-year-old is advising young girls to take her lead and embrace themselves for who they are. "We are complete as ourselves, and our flaws make us unique,” she says. "Perfection is boring anyway. As soon as you find and identify your flaws, there’s no one who can be like you. From that you can take your confidence."

Priyanka adds,"I believe girls all over the world [have been] raised to believe that we need to be protected, or need someone else to feel validated and strong. Now we are in a time where we are enough."

For more of the latest celebrity and royal news follow us @HelloMagUS on Twitter, Pinterest and like us on Facebook.