Even though her looks are what many people focus on, there is more to Priyanka Chopra than her appearance. Besides winning the Miss World Pageant in 2000, she is also an actress, film producer and singer. She is a native of India and Chopra originally wanted to study aeronautical engineering before becoming an actress after her pageant wins. She has also been named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Even with all of the items she has accomplished, Chopra is often judged for her looks due to her beauty competition background. Her appearance is judged so often that Chopra has often been referred to as “Plastic Chopra”.
In her memoir, “Unfinished”, Chopra discusses the discovery of a polyp in her nasal cavity after she suffered what she thought was a sinus infection.
In order to treat the condition, she scheduled a routine polypectomy (the removal of an abnormal growth of tissue AKA a polyp). Unfortunately, the results were not quite what she expected as the surgeon accidently shaved the bridge of her nose in an attempt to remove the tissue. She said the accident with her nose left her “horrified” and it even caused the bridge of her nose to collapse.
She wrote the following about the incident, “My original nose was gone. My face looked completely different. I wasn’t me anymore. I felt devastated and hopeless. Every time I looked in the mirror, a stranger looked back at me, and I didn’t think my sense of self or my self-esteem would ever recover from the blow.
Unfortunately, the news about her surgery became known to the public which lead to a greater amount of emphasis on her appearance. In fact, she ended up losing out on two film roles that came her way after winning the title of Miss World back in 2000. She also lost the lead role in another movie and was demoted to being a supporting actress in the same movie. This is also the time that members of the press began referring to her as “Plastic Chopra”.
“I was dared to give an explanation for the obviously different nose, but I chose a course that I’ve followed in all the years since. I decided that there was a line I was going to draw in my life. I am an entertainer. That’s what I’ve signed on to do, and that’s what I love doing. I will say my lines, dance my dance, hit my mark. I’ll do my best to make you laugh, and I’ll do my best to make your cry, but just because I’m a public person doesn’t mean everything about my life has to be public knowledge. I get to choose what I share and when I share it.”
She also wrote “My career, a career based so much on physical appearance, seemed to be over before it had even really started.” As the years have passed, Chopra has grown used to the new appearance of her face but she does admit to undergoing a number of surgical procedures in order to try and restore the original look of her nose.
After being dropped from, or demoted in, several films, Chopra was approached by an “industry bigwig” that encouraged her to have additional cosmetic procedures in order to further her career.
“After a few minutes of small talk, the director/producer told me to stand up and twirl for him. I did. He stared at me long and hard, assessing me, and then suggested that I get a boob job, fix my jaw, and add a little cushioning to my butt. If I wanted to be an actress, he said, I’d need to have my proportions ‘fixed’, and he knew a great doctor in LA he could send me to. My then-manager voiced his agreement with the assessment.”
This entertainment industry professional left her feeling “stunned and small” once she left the meeting. After giving it some thought, Chopra decided not to follow his advice and she soon decided to split with her manager.
“All the talk of body parts and skin tone collectively made me feel devalued and unseen and uncertain about my future. Having experienced the aftermath of a supposedly simply polyp removal, I knew I wasn’t willing to follow the course he’d laid out for me, even if he, as the highly successful expert, was right.”
In the years since her nose surgery gone wrong, Chopra has learned to embrace and celebrate her face. She wrote, “If I looked like other ‘classically beautiful’ girls, then I wouldn’t stand out, and more important, I wouldn’t be me. Now when I look in the mirror, I am no longer surprised. I’ve made peace with this slightly different me…I’m just like everyone else: I look at myself in the mirror and think maybe I can lose a little weight. I think maybe I can work out a little more. But I’m also content. This is my face. This is my body. I might be flawed, but I am me.”