Asha Alahan is hiding an awful bullying secret in Coronation Street.
Schoolgirl Asha will be seen bleaching her skin when she returns from a trip to India with her dad Dev, and actress Tanisha Gorey has spoken out about why her character feels she needs to take the dangerous action.
She told Digital Spy: "While she’s been in India she's become fixated with lightening her skin. It's very normalised over there so when she comes back she thinks, 'Why shouldn't I be doing this here too?'
"In India she's seen all the Bollywood actresses she looks up to sponsoring these skin lightening creams, she wants to be successful and pretty like them so she thinks, 'What's wrong with it?'"
But heartbreakingly, Asha has been hiding a secret from her family - she has been left with low self-esteem from bullying and being shunned at school.
Tanisha said: "Ultimately we’ll find out it's a lot more about Asha's low self esteem. Asha's been struggling getting attention from boys, for parts in school plays and she thinks maybe if I change myself then I'll get more of that."
And with the creams available easily in India, she thinks it will solve all her problems.
Tanisha added that Asha's "got [the cream] while she was in India and she's brought it home with her".
Ultimately we’ll find out it's a lot more about Asha's low self esteem.
Tanisha said Asha's "seen what girls are doing out there, she wants to follow the crowd and it's making her feel a bit better about herself".
And sadly she has no-one she feels like she can talk to about her issues, but the actress is taking the storyline seriously.
Tanisha said she wants to make sure she does the storyline "justice" because "if you're going to cover such a serious issue, which is not shown a lot, then you need to do it in the right way".
She said she's "really looking forward to taking it on and hopefully help educate other young girls about it. It's all about self esteem".
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