Priyanka Chopra is ready for women all around the world to shatter glass ceilings.
Already a star in Bollywood with a chain of critically acclaimed movies under her belt, Priyanka Chopra burst onto our screens and had us glued to our seats when she starred in the American thriller, Quantico, as Alex Parrish. It tells the story of a young and bright FBI recruit who’s put through the wringer during her academy days, before flashing to the present where she seeks out her previous classmates to help clear her name when she’s branded a terrorist. Not only does this mark her as the first ever South Asian to headline an American series, but it’s seen her succeed in a world that so readily sets up female protagonists for failure. Of course, you may also recognise the magnetism she radiates on screen, given she was crowned Miss World 2000 – but it’s her intelligence and heart that shine through. Throwing herself readily into philanthropy, she consistently speaks up on racism, bullying, and sexism – having been on the receiving end of such atrocious attacks numerous times. And while the world may look to be her oyster, make no mistake, she’s had to work very, very hard to stand tall where she is today.
Born in the small town of Bareilly in India, she moved to the United States when she was 13 for school, staying with her aunt and uncle in Newton. It was there, she tells Complex magazine, that she became the humiliating target of a junior named Jeanine, who flung racial slurs at her. And just like a dismal scene out of an American teenage movie, she’d choose to eat in the bathroom instead.
Bullied and homesick, the taunts – “Brownie, go back to your country, you smell of curry” – were enough to break her. When she was 16, she returned home, her heart set on becoming an engineer. But back in Bareilly, she faced another set of problems now that she had blossomed into a young woman. Boys would follow her about, with one even jumping from the terrace onto her balcony! That prompted her dad to turn her house into a ‘jail’ and he forbade her from wearing tight clothes – resulting in plenty of arguments, she relayed to The Guardian. Her mother, on the other hand, embraced Priyanka’s physical beauty and submitted photos of her to the Miss India contest. She would eventually go on to win it along with the Miss World 2000 title, opening a floodgate of movie offers. To date, she has starred in over 50 Bollywood films and recorded several albums, sealing her status as the real deal.
STRONGER THAN RACISM
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