Rochelle Humes opens up about trying to scrub her skin off as a child

Elena Chabo
·3-min read
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

Rochelle and Marvin Humes are just two of many well known Black Britons who have taken part in Channel's 4's The Talk (airing 4 August 10pm), a programme about the poignant, funny and emotional conversations parents have with their Black and mixed-race children about racism.

In a heartbreaking preview for the show shared to Instagram, Rochelle emotionally recounted a memory of her own childhood, where she attempted to scrub her brown mixed-race skin to white.

Tearfully recalling in the clip, Rochelle said: "My legs were red, because I'd tried to scrub my skin off"

Rochelle wrote in the post's caption about how difficult it's been to share her experiences and be vocal about racism.

"Opening up about racism and my challenges was overwhelming as it reminded me that we still live in a world where racism is normalised and accepted," she said.

As the mother to two mixed-race children with husband Marvin, and a third on the way, the pair are now looking at their experiences growing up mixed-race from the parental perspective, with Rochelle pointing out in the clip that their daughter is the same age she was when the incident happened.

"I don’t want my children growing up in a world where they think that their heritage and skin colour could be judged negatively," Rochelle wrote, explaining how worked up she got while filming the show: "That’s why I was so emotional, not for me, but for every child or person who has been made to feel like they were not enough because of their skin colour."

View this post on Instagram

Beached 🐚🍦

A post shared by R O C H E L L E H U M E S (@rochellehumes) on May 30, 2020 at 9:48am PDT

The clip is an emotional watch, which is probably a taster of what is to come from the full show, which also feature stars like Leigh-Anne Pinnock, journalist Gary Younge and musicians Emeli Sande and Tinie Tempah.

Some stars appear with their parents and others speak about their own children, but all are discussing The Talk; referring to a conversation about racism generally given to Black and mixed-race children by their parents early in primary school, often triggered by their first conscious experiences of racial discrimination.

It's not an easy conversation to explain to your children why people might treat them differently or why they're already experiencing that, and it's a conversation that most white Britons haven't had to consider. That's why the show is important viewing for all of us, not only those of us who are Black or from other minority ethnic backgrounds.

As Rochelle puts so well in her caption: "I allowed myself to open up and be vulnerable about this topic publicly to help support others through shared experience and also educate people on the lasting impact racism and discrimination can have on people."

The Talk airs on Channel 10pm 4 August and will then be available the stream online.

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Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

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