Filipina-Canadian and “Pretty Little Liars” star Shay Mitchell is among People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Women in the World in 2015.
Born in Ontario, Canada to an Irish/Scottish father and Pinay mother, Mitchell worked as an image model prior to conquering the Hollywood. Currently, she plays Emily in the ABC Family series.
Mitchell’s mom Precious Garcia is from Pampanga.
What’s more interesting is that Mitchell is a relative of another world-class Filipina beauty and talent. Tony Award-winning theater performer and “The Voice of the Philippines” coach Lea Salonga is actually Mitchell’s second cousin.
This year, A-list Hollywood actress Sandra Bullock topped People Magazine’s prestigious list. Vanessa Hudgens, known for her role in Disney’s High School Musical, is another half-Filipina who made it to the list.
Mitchell once unhappy with her half-Filipino heritage
In an interview with The Daily Mail UK, the 27-year-old actress revealed that she was once unhappy with her Filipino heritage.
According to Mitchell, who grew up in a community in Toronto, Canada dominated by Caucasians, she was often mistaken to be a “daughter of a nanny”.
In order to blend in, Mitchell would dye her hair lighter and wear coloured contacts. She also stayed away from the sun so that her skin would remain pale.
“I hated being asked who I was, and all my friends had blonde hair and blue eyes,” she told The Daily Mail UK.
High school wasn’t exactly a great time for Mitchell who admitted eating lunch inside bathrooms in order to avoid mean girls in their school.
Eventually, Mitchell went to live in Thailand and Hong Kong to change things in her life.
In 2010, Shay rose to stardom after being cast as Emily Fields in Pretty Little Liars.