Indian Model And “Top Chef” Host Padma Lakshmi Spills Secrets In Book
Padma Lakshmi is letting loose all her dirty (and clean) laundry in her new memoir “Love, Loss And What We Ate” including how she once wasn’t sure who fathered her daughter after cheating with venture capitalist Adam Dell during her relationship with Teddy Forstmann. We were most drawn to the details about her struggle with her identity and skin color which were shared in Daily Mail reports:
To many Americans, my skin color signaled third-world slums as seen in Indiana Jones movies, malaria, hot curry and “stinky” food, and strange bright clothing— a caricature of India and Indians’.
‘I began to change into a person who contained two people within herself: a girl proud of and connected to her culture and native country, and one who wished she just looked like her old doll, Helen.
Her family advised her to avoid the sun out of fear that her skin would ‘darken to the shade of an Untouchable, a person from the lowest caste in Indian society, someone who toils in the fields’.
We have definitely heard about the skin color drama in India so this comes as ZERO surprise.
It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that Padma suffered discrimination back stateside:
She was called ‘Blackie’ in high school and ‘Black Giraffe’.
In high school when she was living in La Puente, twenty miles east of downtown Los Angeles, she changed her name to Angelique. That was better than Padma Parvati Vaidyanathan.
It took the Beatles trip to India in 1968 to create a pop culture moment for Indian culture.
‘For approximately four wince-worthy years, I was trying to hide from my identity’.
Her schoolmates thought she looked Mexican but she didn’t speak Spanish.
She was used to insults beginning in elementary school where they called her ‘Dictionary’ behind her back, yanked her long black hair in class or stepped on the heels of her shoes as she walked to class.
She was called the N-word in sixth grade, egged in seventh grade and punched in the face by a girl and had an egg smashed on top of her head. There was no end to the humiliation.
Poor thang! Well she came out stronger in the end riiiiiight?