Before she rose to fame on ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” Shay Mitchell would tried to hide her half-Filipino heritage.
Growing up in a predominantly white suburb of Toronto, the star told Yahoo! Style that classmates would often ask her if she was the “daughter of my nanny.”
“I hated being asked who I was, and all my friends had blond hair and blue eyes,” Mitchell said of her classmates.
That all led Mitchell to dye her hair, wear color contacts and avoid sunlight to appear as pale as possible. “That girl wanted to be something she wasn’t,” she said of teenage self.
Since leaving Canada, the actress has embraced her heritage and the idea of putting herself out there.
“It’s good to switch things up,” she said. “If you’re always comfortable, you don’t grow.”