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The Talk review: Rochelle Humes recalls the devastating experience of trying to “scrub her skin off” as a child

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Hollie Richardson
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Rochelle Humes

Speaking on last nights episode of The Talk on Channel 4, the presenter opened up about her challenges with racism.

Exploring the conversations parents have to help their children face racism, Channel 4’s The Talk was a one-off TV show that asks celebrities to share their own experiences. 

Broadcast last night (4 August), it features guests such as Emeli Sandé, Leigh Anne Pinnock, Tinie Tempah and Rochelle Humes, reflected on the racism they faced while growing up.

Ahead of its broadcast, Humes – This Morning presenter and former member of The Saturdays – shared a clip of her interview on her Instagram feed.

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Humes recalls the time her “legs were red” because she tried to “scrub” her skin off when she was a child.

“My legs were red because I’d tried to scrub my skin off.” Humes says. “And I’m not upset for me, I’m just upset because I think, ‘My little girl is the same age.’ I just don’t know how I would handle that.”

Although it is upsetting to listen to, Humes explained the importance of having these conversations 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 wrote in a caption for the video.

“I don’t want my children growing up in a world where they think that their heritage and skin colour could be judged negatively. 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.”

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She added: “So 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.”

Viewers have reacted to Hume’s experience on Twitter, proving the importance of hearing her words.

“She was only a child at this point. Please realise the mental damage that racism has and is still doing to people,” one Twitter user said.

Another viewer shared how she related to Hume’s childhood, saying: “Relating to @RochelleHumes on #TheTalk on #C4. Firstly @WeAreWhisperTV have done a really good job of helping to explain struggles, but also it highlighed the issue of being mixed white and black as well as black. I tried to scrub my skin and relax my hair, I was just a child.”

“I couldn’t ever imagine treating someone the way all these guests in the documentary have been treated throughout their lives – so many monsters in this world,” asserted another viewer, "@RochelleHumes opening up about scrubbing her skin really got to me #TheTalk.”

You can catch up with The Talk on All 4.

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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