Burberry model Neelam Gill remembers how she was called ‘pa**’ as a child

Neelam Gill has revealed the shocking racism she was exposed to as a child growing up in Coventry.

The model, 24, who has posed for the likes of Burberry, Abercrombie & Fitch and Vogue, recalled how being called a ‘p***’ on her way to school was an every day occurrence and made her hate the colour of her skin. 

The activist, who was one of the first British Asian women to become the face of a major campaign when she was chosen as the face of Burberry in 2014, also called for the fashion industry to stop using ethnic minority models as ‘token’ faces.

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British Burberry model Neelam Gill, 24, has revealed the shocking racism she was exposed to as a child growing up in Coventry and called for the fashion industry to change its 'tokenism'

British Burberry model Neelam Gill, 24, has revealed the shocking racism she was exposed to as a child growing up in Coventry and called for the fashion industry to change its 'tokenism'

British Burberry model Neelam Gill, 24, has revealed the shocking racism she was exposed to as a child growing up in Coventry and called for the fashion industry to change its ‘tokenism’

In a candid interview with Stylist, Neelam remembered: ‘I remember being a kid and walking to school and someone shouting ‘Paki’ out the window. That was just so normal.’

She added: ‘I’d get comments like, ‘does your Dad own the corner shop?’ or ‘Is he a taxi driver?’ It makes me feel really angry. I could never imagine doing that to someone. It’s not something I’d stand for now and now I’m very outspoken about it.

‘When I was younger I was very insecure and I didn’t think I was pretty because I thought being fair was what made you beautiful. I would always hate the colour of my skin.’ 

The activist, who was one of the first British Asian women to become the face of a major campaign when she was chosen as the face of Burberry in 2014, also called for the fashion industry to stop using ethnic minority models as 'token' faces

The activist, who was one of the first British Asian women to become the face of a major campaign when she was chosen as the face of Burberry in 2014, also called for the fashion industry to stop using ethnic minority models as 'token' faces

The activist, who was one of the first British Asian women to become the face of a major campaign when she was chosen as the face of Burberry in 2014, also called for the fashion industry to stop using ethnic minority models as ‘token’ faces

The model, 24, who has posed for the likes of Burberry, Abercrombie & Fitch and Vogue, recalled how being called a 'pa**' on her way to school was an every day occurrence. She is pictured as a child

The model, 24, who has posed for the likes of Burberry, Abercrombie & Fitch and Vogue, recalled how being called a 'pa**' on her way to school was an every day occurrence. She is pictured as a child

The model, 24, who has posed for the likes of Burberry, Abercrombie & Fitch and Vogue, recalled how being called a ‘pa**’ on her way to school was an every day occurrence. She is pictured as a child

Admitting there has been a change in the representation of ethnic minorities in the fashion industry, Neelam argued that more needed to be done.

The model revealed how many brands appeared to use minority models ‘just to cover their backs’, and even spoke about how her model pals had been missed out on jobs because the designers ‘already had a black girl in the show’.  

Neelam rose to prominence after making her debut for none other than Fashion Week favourite Burberry after being scouted at the tender age of 14, and has credited them for making her a household name.

Talking about her modelling dream, she previosly told Elle magazine: ‘I didn’t think I could be a model! I had glasses and braces. I was not one of the hot girls in school.

‘I was scouted when I was 14, but my parents said, ‘Okay, just stay in school and then do it before college.

‘I didn’t even tell people in high school that I was interested in modeling, or that I’d been scouted, because when people found out, they were like, “What? Her?!” There was a joke about me in school: “Oh, Neelam’s a model—she’s a foot model”.’ 

Neelam, seen with fellow model Winnie Harlow, rose to prominence after making her debut for none other than Fashion Week favourite Burberry after being scouted at the tender age of 14, and has credited them for making her a household name

Neelam, seen with fellow model Winnie Harlow, rose to prominence after making her debut for none other than Fashion Week favourite Burberry after being scouted at the tender age of 14, and has credited them for making her a household name

Neelam, seen with fellow model Winnie Harlow, rose to prominence after making her debut for none other than Fashion Week favourite Burberry after being scouted at the tender age of 14, and has credited them for making her a household name