'I was treated differently because I'm brown,' the Quantico actress, 36, told the Associated Press Friday of her years in high school, which were spent in the United States.
The Baywatch star said that her self-esteem was impacted amid the insensitive treatment at a young age.
'I had, you know, really racist behavior when I was in high school in 10th grade. I was called "Brownie," "Curry," [told to] "go back on the elephant you came on," and that really affected me when I was a kid and affected my self-esteem.'
Priyanka, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, said that she thinks racial bullying is a byproduct of 'the way we treat people differently comes from cultural, subliminal messaging that has happened over eons.
'The more we can talk about it and open other people's eyes and say, "It doesn't have to be that way," and give them more examples, I guess society will change,' she said.
Priyanka, who's married to singer Nick Jonas, said her objective is to help usher that change so no one has to endure what she did in her younger years.
'I'm not going to allow anyone to feel like that anymore,' she said. 'But it took that innate sense of self, which was, I think, created in me through my parents. It took my upbringing and my environment to create that.'
She added, 'I do want to create a world for my future kids where they don’t have to think about diversity, where they’re not talking about it because it’s normal.'
Chopra made the revelations in her new role as an ambassador for the skin care company Obagi and its Skinclusion campaign - which she's the face of - that aims to add a discussion of diversity to the beauty industry.
'Most high-end, luxury products are not made for people of color, so why the hell are we buying creams for "All skin types?"' she told ELLE earlier this month. 'I simply couldn't figure out what to use! I would just keep mixing products and trying whatever was advertising better ... it was all trial and error.
'That was the biggest hindrance that I had with beauty all of my life.'
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.