The Little Mix singer detailed her upbringing in a new interview with Vogue Arabia and admitted she regrets not accepting her heritage when she was younger because she faced racist bullying.
“It’s taken me too long to embrace my heritage and I wish I did it sooner. I want people to know that who you are is a beautiful thing – learn about your ancestors and educate yourself on your heritage,” the 27-year-old explained. “It gives you a purpose.”
Jade’s grandfather Mohammed, who was born in Yemen, was a huge part of her life, and she recalled him gently encouraging her to learn more about her heritage when she was younger.
“He made me feel proud of who I was – he was my line of understanding to my Arab heritage,” she shared. “I’m striving to be a better role model for my fans and be an artist that I would’ve liked to have seen as a young girl.”
The British singer wants to be a positive representation of an Arab woman, and is working hard to connect to her ancestors, and is even learning the language so she can travel more to the Middle East.
“As an adult I’m connecting more with my Arab side – it’s a shame that it’s taken me until now to understand that. Being Arab is a beautiful thing,” Jade continued. “I get a lot of messages from Arab fans saying that they look up to me and that it’s lovely to see positive representation of an Arab woman in pop culture.”