Padma Lakshmi Bullied Growing Up!

Posted on March 11th, 2016 at 1:18 pm
True Padma Lakshmi BulliedShe's easily one of the most beautiful women on television, but believe it or not, Padma Lakshmi was bullied growing up. "I was this tall when I was 13 in eighth grade. I had a very long neck, I used to get called E.T., Skeletor, giraffe, you name it," she tells PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle during an interview wot discuss her new memoir, "Love, Loss, And What We Ate." And in order to fit in and feel more similar to her classmates, Lakshmi temporarily changed her name from Padma to Angelique for her four years of high school. "You can ask anybody who went to high school with me, they didn't call me Padma," she says. "I didn't feel any different, I didn't feel any less American, even though I ate rice and curry or even though my name was Padma or I spoke to my mother in a different language, I felt as American as anybody else in my classroom. But they didn't feel I was as American." "I think you don't have to be Indian to identify with the immigrant experience," she explains. "I think everyone has experienced feeling like an outsider. And it's something that I've carried with me – it's like this invisible shadow that's there because I was always flitting between cultures, so I was never really at home in one, and never really an outsider in the other."