I asked Priyanka Chopra, 'If you can look past skin colour in a beauty pageant then why not height?'

1 year ago  |  2.5M
   
I asked Priyanka Chopra, 'If you can look past skin colour in a beauty pageant then why not height?'
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India, has often been called the land of ‘apsaras’ - the most stunning divine women. It is believed that apsaras were the epitome of beauty and emanated charm, desirability, were gifted with the art of dance and spilled magic wherever they set their foot. It was as if they were dipped in milk, blessed with the most perfect body and alluring features that could kill. Our country has always been considered as the land with the most extraordinary and exquisite beauty. It is a fact, isn’t it? But is only being ‘dipped in milk, with the most perfect body and alluring features’, the compass for measuring ‘beauty’?

 

I was born in the year 1994, a year which was historic for India as it conquered the globe with ‘beauty’. Yes, that very year, Sushmita Sen was crowned Miss Universe and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Miss World. That one win was enough to send everyone in a tizzy. Almost every growing up 90s kid, including myself, dreamt of becoming Miss India and then further on representing our country on a global platform. As opposed to the standard Indian household mentality, my parents were all up for it, supporting their daughter in living her dream of wearing a legit crown on her head.

 

 

I was six, standing in front of the television, being stubborn enough and not letting anyone watch the screen. The only thing that this peanut sized girl wanted to hear was for the host to announce India as the winner. As history has it, that’s what happened. Priyanka Chopra, a young 18 year old from Bareilly with the most gorgeous earthy skin tone, was crowned Miss World 2000. 30th November, 2000 was a day which pretty much cemented my thoughts of pursuing and achieving my dream.

 

20 years down the line, I am 25 with an incomplete dream and a slight ache in my heart. It’s not like I didn’t try. I did. Multiple times, with all the conviction there is. But you know what became a hindrance? Just 2 inches. Yes, my height. I am 5’4 which I used to believe was a pretty decent height for an Indian woman, until I was told repeatedly by a lot of beauty pageant organisations that it wasn’t the case. This was the parameter for someone outright telling me that I don’t fit the bill and certainly not the idea of “beauty”. They called me pretty, confident and outspoken, but, I was “short”. It broke my heart. It truly did. I sulked a bit, animatedly scolded myself for not swimming or cycling enough and quietly slipped into a sad state.

 

 

It made me wonder - aren't we as a society are extremely hypocritical? Even when we are changing the norms about beauty, we’re changing it only as per convenience. The World is moving towards body inclusivity, but do you think we are doing it as a whole? According to the new ‘perception’, you can be of any colour but you still have to be 5’6 and above to meet the beauty standards. How is it ‘body inclusive’? How is it fair when you still have a checklist for declaring someone as an ‘ideal beauty’? Does this mean that any girl who does not make the cut, just like me and a lot of others, cannot dream of wearing the crown on our heads?

 

October 5th, 2019, as fate had it, I got the opportunity to meet the woman whose victory sealed my dream of becoming Miss India. Priyanka Chopra Jonas, standing right infront of me, with this surreal aura around her, flashing her million dollar smile (no wonder Nick Jiju fell for her in a matter of minutes). I had the opportunity to have a word with her and I couldn’t have missed this chance for the World. I told her how I’ve always wanted to be Miss India but only because I was 2 inches short was why I couldn’t make it to the cut. I then asked her a quick question, with the innocence of that six year old who saw PeeCee tearing up with pride when she was wearing the crown. “If you can look past colour in a beauty pageant then why not height?” I don’t think she was expecting a question like this, so she was taken a bit off-guard but was quick to gather herself and replied with saying, ‘You’re right. I’ve never actually thought about it like that’, while sipping water. It's almost like I could see an imaginary thought bubble over her head.

 

(Image Source: Getty Images)

 

Coming from the position that she is at right now, and, possessing the power which is altogether bringing in about so much change, I couldn’t have missed telling her this. Chopra Jonas, promised me that she will definitely invest more time on this thought. To which I enthusiastically replied, “But don’t forget that I told you this.” Well, whether she remembers me or not, I really do hope that she does something, or anyone for that matter, so that we “short” girls are also made to feel as beautiful as we are.

My motto in life is, “Main Apni Favourite Hoon” (the self love came in much before Kareena sensationalised it in Jab We Met, but, the dialogue came in post the release - I admit). I’m sure most of us girls share the same vibe too, so does it really matter if a random judgemental group finds you the “sundarta ki devi” or not?

 

What do you think about selective inclusivity? Do you think the society is hyprocritical and is still stuck with the same boring bracket of "ideal beauty"? Drop in your comments below.

 

(Image Source: Getty Images)

 

Meanwhile, let me fix my hypothetical crown as I’m busy making a mark for myself in the World, with my work. 

 

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Comments
Anonymous : This article and the author's viewpoint are utterly stupid! Include me at any cost seems to be the slogan. An organization has set certain criteria. Either you meet them or you don't. What gives you the right to demand that the organization changes its rules to accommodate the desperate, vain you?
REPLY 0 1 year ago
Anonymous : This article and the author's viewpoint are utterly stupid! Include me at any cost seems to be the slogan. An organization has set certain criteria. Either you meet them or you don't. What gives you the right to demand that the organization changes its rules to accommodate the desperate, vain you?
REPLY 0 1 year ago
Anonymous : This article and the author's viewpoint are utterly stupid! Include me at any cost seems to be the slogan. An organization has set certain criteria. Either you meet them or you don't. What gives you the right to demand that the organization changes its rules to accommodate the desperate, vain you?
REPLY 0 1 year ago
Anonymous : In that case there should not be any beauty pageants too. Why judge outer beauty only?? After all beauty is skin deep...
REPLY 2 1 year ago
Anonymous : Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra are the shortest Miss Worlds. They must have used strong connections to win the pageant. Majority of beauty pageant winners, including Rita Faria (Miss World 1962), Diana Hayden (Miss World 1997), Yukta Mookhey (Miss World 1999), and Manushi Chillar (Miss World 2017) are very tall, with Diana, Yukta, and Manushi reaching 5 feet 11 inches. Miss Universe Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta are both 5 feet 10-11 inches.
REPLY 2 1 year ago
Anonymous : Sushmita Sen, a true Miss Universe and an example for all women. What Sushmita has done is beyond commendable... adopting two baby girls and making them her own. Aishwarya Rai lol...all she does is carry her daughter, does kissy kissy drama in front of the cameras to gain praise for best mommy.
REPLY 2 1 year ago
Anonymous : The height cutoff for Miss World competition is 5 feet 6 inches and Miss Universe is 5 feet 8 inches. Aishwarya Rai had rigged the 1994 Miss India competition and all judges were supporting her while ignoring other candidates. However, Sushmita Sen beat her at the last moment because the organizers realized that India had a better chance of winning Miss Universe by sending 5 feet 10 inches Sushmita as a contestant. Aishwarya Rai (5 feet 5.5 inches) was sent to Miss World because she didn't have long, sexy, well-toned legs like Sushmita which is a requirement for being a Miss Universe. Aishwarya has been lying that she is 5 feet 7 inches tall. Her real height is 5 feet 5 inches. Priyanka Chopra is also 5 feet 5 inches, hence she was sent for Miss World while 5 feet 10 inches tall Lara Dutta was sent for Miss Universe. Vengeful Aish is still bitter at not winning Miss India and doesn't spare a moment to get back at Sushmita. Is it Sushmita's fault that Aishwarya Rai is short and not fit to be a supermodel? Anyways, spiteful Aish made up for her loss by using her PR aggressively to spread the most beautiful tag for her fake beauty lol
REPLY 2 1 year ago
Anonymous : Sushmita Sen is the only beauty pageant winner who kept her promise of doing something for children. She adopted 2 orphan girls in a country like India where boys are preferred. She raised her daughters as a single mom all by herself. In contrast, we have Aishwarya Rai, a greedy money chaser who spent her youth jumping from one man to another to climb up, didn't do anything for anyone, and continues to be self-absorbed narcissist who loves attention. Aishwarya has been so busy attending parties in Europe throughout the past decades that she didn't even get the time to do a single act of charity. When she is not partying in Europe with her parents, she is busy collecting fake awards for her non-existent contribution to the cinema. Yet she makes sure to fool people by saying she's representing India when she wears expensive designer gowns to sell Loreal makeup to earn the $ she spends on buying her mom latest gold jewelry. So much for being a Miss World, a community advocate, pride of India.
REPLY 2 1 year ago
Anonymous : Mostly the miss world and universe ladies are not great lookers but ladies who can sell themselves as glamorous and fashionable and make a profitable lives. Have any one of them used their titles to wholly serve the community and not make use of it in entertainment. Atleast Aishwarya is one beauty, some acting skills and community support advocate.
REPLY 4 1 year ago
Anonymous : Aishwarya is fake to the core. What exactly is beautiful about a woman who is covered with truck loads of makeup all the time? Aishwarya is the best example of an Indian woman who is ashamed of her dark skin. If you look at Aish's pictures from pre-Miss World and Miss World days, you can see her skin was shades darker. She is famous for skin bleaching. Anyways, Aish is the most terrible actress in Bollywood. Screeching, screaming, and flaring nostrils is not acting. And a community support advocate? Lol what world do you live in? Aishwarya has never done an ounce of charity. All she does is to promote herself, her mother, and her daughter. And she expects us to be proud of her for her attention seeking gimmicks.
REPLY 2 1 year ago
Anonymous : Aish was smart to trap Salman Khan who gave her 8-10 movies. Before Salman, she traded favors with Subhash Ghai, and after Salman she cleverly trapped Bachchan family to secure her future. Priyanka Chopra followed in her footsteps and manipulated Shahrukh Khan and Akshay Kumar. All other beauty pageant winners from India weren't smart like Aish and Priyanka. Had they cunningly fallen in love with the right man at the right time, they'd be where Aish and Priyanka are. Such dignified women Aish and Priyanka!
REPLY 2 1 year ago
Anonymous : Panama Papers Aishwarya Rai is a tax evader who has been stashing her wealth in offshore accounts meanwhile fooling Indians that she is county's pride. Really? How exactly is India benefiting by Bachchan Bahu Rani flying in free business class to cut ribbons for Longines?
REPLY 2 1 year ago
Anonymous : yes why should it be about colour, race,height or weight....let it be about beauty,skill,characteristics or talent.....god when will this finally happen....when will we actually come to terms with real meaning of beauty inside out?
REPLY 3 1 year ago
Anonymous : But my question is why in the world do you want to participate in a "beauty pageant" which is all about grooming. In hindsight you are seeking approval from an institution which is entirely subjective.
REPLY 3 1 year ago
Anonymous : I agree, most of the beautiful women that at least I have seen are not tall and are not part of the glamour world too.
REPLY 5 1 year ago
Anonymous : Love this PV!! And yes some of the most beautiful women I have seen are less than 5 feet 6inches tall!
REPLY 4 1 year ago
Anonymous : Wow! Lovely blog
REPLY 4 1 year ago