Rochelle Humes has revealed she tried to scrub her skin off after being subjected to racial abuse at the age of seven.
The This Morning presenter joins Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Heaven singer Emeli Sande in new Channel 4 documentary The Talk to open up about their experiences of racial prejudice since childhood.
Humes, 31, wipes away tears as she recalls a classmate saying she was not invited to her birthday party because she was black, so she went home and tried to “scrub my skin off”.
The Saturdays singer said: “My legs were red because I’d tried to scrub my skin off.”
She added: “I’m not upset for me, I’m just upset because I think, ‘My little girl is the same age.’ And I just don’t know how I would handle that.”
Humes is mother to daughters seven-year-old Alaia-Mai and three-year-old Valentina with JLS star Marvin Humes and is expecting a baby boy.
Pinnock, 28, reveals she was passed a note at school which listed her nationality as “jungle”.
She said: “My heart just dropped. I was nine-years-old and I knew it was racism. I was distraught.
“I just wish that I knew more back then, I wish that I was more educated on racism and that I knew that, yes, your race will hold you back a little bit – it will.
“I just wish I knew that so that I could prepare myself and I didn’t question the fact, ‘Oh, I’m not good enough, I’m not pretty enough, why do I feel like this?’”
Sande, 33, who was born in Sunderland to a Zambian father and English mother, revealed she was bullied at school over having parents of different races.
She said: “There was a girl who said, ‘Well, you must be adopted.’ I remember dad running upstairs, finding proof of birth.”
The Talk, which encourages parents to talk openly with their children about racism, airs on Tuesday, on Channel 4 at 10pm.