Recently, Priyanka Chopra has been in the news for her marriage with Nick Jonas. But what is she really known for? What is her impact on South Asian Americans?
1. She is one of the few South Asian people represented in Hollywood
When you look at the different cultures represented in Hollywood over the year, it's no secret that White actors are primarily shown in movies. Until recently, there haven't been many colored actors that shared half as much of the fame as non-colored people have had over the years. Priyanka Chopra is now one of the few South Asian actors, specifically, represented in Hollywood and people actually enjoy seeing her on screen! Colored people are talented? WHAT?? I know, it's pretty weird to think that but hey, not our fault South Asians are extremely talented. I mean, have you ever heard of Bollywood? I'll let you Google it now.
2. She shows the balance between American and Indian culture
Every South Asian-American knows that finding that perfect balance between American and Indian culture is near to impossible. I mean when you think about it, how do you live a "normal life" in America when you're from a completely different country? I think this a struggle that all first-generation South Asian-Americans face and Priyanka shows us that we're not alone! She taught me that it's considered "cool" to show others where I'm from and to be proud of my two cultures!
3. She is not afraid to show where she is from
There have been times when Priyanka was interviewed in America and was asked what India is like and what's so special about Bollywood. If I were to answer that question, I would say that Bollywood tries to copy Hollywood movies in areas especially like stunts in movies. Notice how I said that Bollywood tries to copy Hollywood? Priyanka would say that Bollywood stands out from the rest and praises its strengths and differences. She makes me feel proud to be from India because it is different and it's okay to be different. When I was in elementary school, I would be bullied for being Indian. I developed a huge insecurity for being Indian and I tried my absolute best to be as "American" as possible. I'm so glad that people like Priyanka, are showing South Asian-American kids now that it's okay to be from a different culture and you should be proud to show where you are from!
4. She was crowned Miss World!
As Miss World, she helped a lot of people voluntarily. She showed so many boys and girls that as citizens of the world, our job is to help each other. Whether it be in your own community or across the globe, do your best in helping others. By doing so, we can make the world a better place. Priyanka was one of the few South Asian people who was crowned as Miss World and she inspired many girls like me to reach for my dreams.
5. She broke Asian stereotypes
For many people, they think Indians have many stereotypes. Some of these include looking or smelling a certain way, being super smart, lacking beauty, etc. A lot of people think that Asians have no talent, especially in creative fields like cinema. It's really amazing to see artists like Hassan Minhaj, Mindy Kaling, and others come out and show America that South Asians have talent in all areas. They also prove to so many South Asians that being in the creative field should be just as respected as being a research scientist or a software engineer. As a result, more South Asian-Americans are joining the arts and becoming musicians, singers, actors and so much more. I can't wait for the day when more colored people are represented in cinema.
6. She showed us that you don't have to be married by a certain age
For many South Asians, there's a certain age that you must be married by. Once you've graduated college and started your job, the next big step is marriage. Of course, once you're married you have to quit your job and take care of your husband and children 24/7. It's just how it's always been and actually, in the olden days, it was a shame to have a daughter. Many people used to see women as worthless and that their job is to solely reproduce children. Priyanka Chopra, as well as other famous South Asian women, have taught us that you don't have to be married by a certain age and that you should be proud of being a woman. Women are so powerful and there's finally more attention to feminist-related topics. Women shouldn't have to believe that they live just to reproduce or just to take care of her husband. In fact, women have the capability to do anything they set their mind to and Priyanka shows us that every day.