Priyanka Chopra Jonas: The process of getting to the red carpet has always been tedious for me

The actor and style icon talks lockdown fashion, wedding dresses and body positivity.

Priyanka Chopra arriving at the 88th Academy Awards
Priyanka Chopra arriving at the 88th Academy Awards

Former Miss World Priyanka Chopra Jonas hugely successful Bollywood and Hollywood actor, has recently been named the new Ambassador for Positive Change by the British Fashion Council.

Over the last year the Indian-born beauty spent lockdown settling in to her new Los Angeles home with husband, singer-songwriter and actor Nick Jonas and their three dogs Diana, Gina and Panda. It was a massive change from her normal whirlwind global schedule of acting, producing, and humanitarian activism.

“There’s comfort in knowing that this person is in your corner no matter where you go or what happens,” she says of Nick. “He has such a calming effect on me. I’m a spinner, I have so much energy and am always spinning multiple plates and he just defuses every situation.”

Priyanka, 38, has just released her autobiography Unfinished. We caught up with her to find out what she’s been wearing in lockdown and if she misses the red carpet…

Priyanka Chopra Jonas and her husband, Nick Jonas attending the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2019

What have you been wearing during lockdown?

“I wore a lot of sweats. I’ve always been into the loungewear vibe. For Christmas this year I got at least 12 pairs of sweats. I love superfleece right now, which is soft on the inside.”

Are you still really interested in fashion?

“I’ve always been interested in fashion, but it never drives my choices. I would never be able to tell you what is spring 2021 or fall 2021 for any designer. I leave that to the experts who work with me, my stylists. But I like pretty things.”

What’s your favourite designer piece you’ve worn?

“I have to say my wedding dresses – both my Indian wedding dress, which was a Sabyasachi, and my Western wedding dress, which was a Ralph Lauren.

“They were made for every curve in my body. Every embroidery has an intention. I wanted French knots in a red lehenga for my Indian wedding. I wanted embroidery that said my parents’ names on my Western wedding dress.

“There’s nothing I have worn on any red carpet that can compare to that. I’ve had the good fortune of wearing many custom outfits in the world, but those two always take my breath away.”

Do you miss red carpet events?

“I miss being at red carpet [events], celebrating my work and meeting industry folk, I miss human interaction, but I don’t miss four-hour glam calls, sitting on hair and make-up chairs. The process of getting to the red carpet has always been tedious for me. I’m not a fan of glam.

“But I love being on the red carpets, I always have such a great time and I don’t take them too seriously.”

Priyanka Chopra attending the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala 2018

What do you think of social media pressures on young women to look good?

“Social media was created so communities can come together. That’s its joy. But the standards of beauty, especially when it comes to women, are never realistic. Instead of the noxious narrative we’ve grown up with, that women need to look a particular way, we can actually run away from that and have real conversations.

“I love posting my non-made-up pictures on social and I feel a sense of comfort and pride when I do that. Public people like Lizzo, for example, she’s such a great example of body positivity. I love what she talks about and what she stands for.

“That’s the conversation we need to push, instead of the perfection around social – and I think there’s a division. There are those girls who feel the pressure of trying to be perfect, but there are also those who are pushing the narrative of normalising beauty and what women look like and how they age. It’s up to us which side we want to align with.”

Book jacket of Unfinished by Prianca Chopra Jonas

Unfinished by Priyanka Chopra Jonas is published by Michael Joseph, priced £20 hardback. Available now.

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