Bollywood starlet Priyanka Chopra has made a name for herself worldwide. From winning the Miss World pageant in 2000 to the countless Bollywood films she has done – not forgetting her Hollywood release Baywatch with big guns Dwayne Johnson and Zack Efron – the 35-year-old actor has turned her life around.
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While appearing on the digital cover of Allure magazine, Chopra opened up on beauty standards and what it takes to be a woman in the entertainment industry or any other.
Speaking of her early days, the Quantico star revealed that competing in pageants wasn’t her dream. “I wanted to be an engineer,” Chopra continued, adding that it was her mother who sent her photos to the Miss India pageant committee – some of which were recently leaked online.
Pageants have been stepping stones for a lot of women such as Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer and Vanessa Williams among many others. One of the most obvious criticisms such competitions have faced is the overt focus on the physical appearance of women. However, Chopra added that her experience was different as the context of beauty pageants in India is very different.
She said, “It’s wrong that women are made to believe that it’s okay to be objectified in order to succeed.” And it’s not only pageants who are to be blamed for unrealistic beauty standards. Being a woman in the entertainment industry comes with its own set of obligations.
Chopra admitted that she enjoys spending time on herself to look good, adding that women should not be judged for dressing up for themselves. She told that it’s a form of self-care. “As women we don’t prioritise ourselves enough. I’m not saying become vain and narcissistic but sometimes, you just need a moment,” explained the Dostana actor. She also supported the idea of freedom of choice for women.
Despite being crowned as one of the most beautiful women in the world, Chopra is very relatable to modern day women. She has also been keenly invested in issues that have a direct impact on women which has led her to become a part of Unicef.
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“We see women of all sizes and colour, modelling, acting and using their strength to reach a goal. However, it’s the mindset of society that needs to change. People need to realise that a plus-size or a woman of colour should not be a ‘check in the box’.” She explained that the world needs to be trained to see beauty differently.
Apart from being an active feminist, the Barfi! actor has aided Syrian refugees and also visited the Rohingya Muslims earlier this year. Despite concluding with the famous saying, ‘Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder’, Chopra stressed that beauty standards across the globe need to be redefined.