Padma Lakshmi Changed Her Name to Angelique in High School Due to Bullying

The 'Top Chef' host used to be called 'E.T., Skeletor, giraffe' when she was in high school due to her skin color.

AceShowbiz - Padma Lakshmi opened up on her struggle as an immigrant. In an interview to promote her new book "Love, Loss, And What We Ate", the "Top Chef" host revealed that she changed her name to Angelique when she's in high school because she was bullied for her skin color.

"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," the 45-year-old celebrity chef told PEOPLE. "You can ask anybody who went to high school with me, they didn't call me Padma."

"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."

Lakshmi added, "I think you don't have to be Indian to identify with the immigrant experience. 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."

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