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No one remembers the time Julianne Hough wore blackface as part of a Halloween costume better than Hough herself.
The actress and Dancing With the Stars judge donned face paint and an orange jumpsuit when she went as Orange Is the New Black character Crazy Eyes to a party in 2013. After she was called out for it on social media, Hough issued an apology. "I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New Black, actress Uzo Aduba [who plays Crazy Eyes], and the character she has created," Hough tweeted. "It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize."
When Hough, who covers the latest issue of Allure, is asked about the incident during her interview, she "shrinks back" before answering. "Ignorance is sometimes not bliss," she tells the magazine. "I really had no idea what I was doing, and it was all out of fun and respect for the character. I don't even know how to talk about it because it's such a sensitive topic. It makes me so sad to think that I was that dumb. I learned a big lesson."
Hough, 26, finds herself working to make others feel better as part of the Kind Campaign, a non-profit that aims to stop bullying. The Utah native recalls struggling with her own tormentors in her younger years, when she and her brother, Dancing With the Stars pro Derek, were raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
"I was bullied in high school," Hough says, adding that she and her eventual friends were called "the Ishes." "We were Mormon. Instead of saying, 'That's the s--t,' we'd be like, 'That's the ish.'"
Hough no longer belongs to the church, but her former association with it makes her proud.
"I am so grateful that I was raised LDS," she says. "I believe in their morals and their standards — and what they give out to the world, the service. I would do a mission, but not for the Mormon church."
Read Hough's full interview when the new Allure hits newsstands on March 31.