Women Transforming Media

A Deserving Hero: Priyanka Chopra

by Takshie Thadani from San Diego, California in United States

121651An inspiring quote by Priyanka Chopra“A man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall” (Aristotle). According to Aristotle, great deeds are not enough to define a person as a hero. He argues that heroism commences with the enlightenment of impuissances. It is immensely personal because it involves a fierce and fearless individual who is passionate to achieve a noble purpose, and is well aware of her strengths and weaknesses. And yes, their actions along their path of achievement do bring them fame, but that was not their original greed. After all, heroism is not a characteristic that is found on the moon; it is found on our planet Earth, in our quotidian lives. A true hero has heroism running through her veins 24/7. She does not need harsh circumstances to play her role. Withal, the hero does not need to be the prettiest person in the room, but she has to know how to carry herself with confidence. A heroic act could be as small as standing up against a bully, or as astronomically immense as Gandhi ending British rule over India, by the means of non-violence. This quote from the article What Heroes Tell Us About Themselves ,"...some sort of strength of character (though it may be buried), some system of positive values, and a determination to, no matter what, protect those values ... the superhero-more than even the ordinary fictional hero-has to represent the values of the society that produces him,"  represents that heroes do not fight for themselves, nor for others. They fight for beliefs, which happen to impact others. A hero is a zealous individual, whose passion causes her to dream big, and whose perseverance holds the hand of that zeal in order to lead the hero toward the path of making her dreams come true. However, no matter how far the hero reaches in the path of catching her dreams, she always keeps her origins in her heart.


121653Priyanka Chopra won the People's Choice Award for her outstanding performance in Quantico. back to the past, no one could have guessed that the girl who was racially labeled “Brownie” in high school would become Miss World and a global icon, out of her immense perseverance: Priyanka Chopra. Chopra was born in Jharkhand, India. Her parents were physicians in the military. At age 13, she decided to go to high school in the United States, but soon enough regretted that decision, for she was bullied extensively due to her ethnicity and skin color. However, she never gave up. At age 18, the age when most people are not even done with high school, Chopra represented India at the Miss World competition, and even emerged victorious. Today, at age 35, she has more movies under her belt than she has years on Earth. She is India’s highest paid actress, and the first South Asian actor ever cast as the lead in a major network television series in the United States. While other Bollywood actors have tried to make their marks in Hollywood and failed miserably, here’s Priyanka Chopra carrying Quantico entirely on her shoulders. Furthermore, she believes in the act of giving back. She is the ambassador of pro-women organizations such as UNICEF and Girl Up. Not only throughout her movie career but throughout her daily life, Priyanka Chopra continues to play a major role in leading people towards the path of their success. She perseveres to conquer the unconquerable- to make women lift their veils and stand next to men with their chins up, and to uplift the name of India. Albeit a star of her stature could have easily cashed in on her popularity and good looks, Priyanka Chopra has always endeavored to evolve as an actor. Not only is she a global icon, Priyanka Chopra is worthy of hero status because she is patriotic for her country, and has an endlessly persevering nature which is driven by her zeal to break gender barriers.


121654She is displaying her love and respect for India by saluting the national flag Chopra lets the world know that she is proud to be an Indian; she proves that she is clinched to her roots as vigorously as the Banyan tree, and will not allow foreigners to misjudge her birth country. This can be seen when an interviewer was puzzled by her behaviour, which he did not consider that of a typical Indian, she cleared the confusion by explaining that most foreigners have a false image of Indian people: “I was very sure I did not want to be the stereotype of what Indian people are seen as, which is Bollywood, and henna. That’s all great! It’s what we are, and I love it. I love saris; I love music; I love dancing, but that’s not all we are” (Tharpe). The word “stereotype” shows that she believes that foreigners look at Indians as different people, who have different food, flavors, and traditions that do not match their own cultural standards. And the words “very sure” show that she knew she was going to face challenges because of her ethnicity, and yet was ready to turn these challenges into opportunities to uplift her mother nation. Chopra did play along by doing what foreigners presumed Indians did, but instead took an initiative to better educate them by exhibiting that there is a lot more to Indians.  She used herself to prove that a language difference, or the fact that the journey from the U.S. to India is seven oceans apart, does not stop Indians from being the most adept at their jobs by traveling back and forth to Mumbai and New York to conquer the West, and to continue dominating Bollywood at the same time. Additionally, even when she is in Hollywood, she praises Bollywood: “‘Art should not be bound by barriers or language,’ she tells me. ‘The Hindi film industry is a testament to that. We speak only Hindi, but we premiere in Germany and Japan. Our films do phenomenally well there. We transcend the barriers of language and culture. We welcome you in. I think that’s what art should be, and I hope America reaches that place’” (Tharpe). The repetition of the pronoun “we” exhibits her nationalism, and shows that she considers herself able to verbalize on behalf of her whole country. Furthermore, because of her patriotism, Priyanka Chopra offers suggestions from what she has learned in Bollywood to areas in Hollywood that she believes need further improvement. Uplifting India is a way through which she thanks India for making her “The Priyanka Chopra”. She manifests that one can take Priyanka Chopra out of India, but one can not take India out of Priyanka Chopra. Because of her patriotism, she is a role model to Indians girls. She teaches that an ordinary person can move abroad, adapt a new culture and try to blend in just to seem “cool”, but only an extraordinary person can be brave enough to represent her origins. Wherever Chopra goes, she carries India’s praises and good qualities in her heart, and continues to break all the myths along the way.


121655Chopra is helping these homeless girls get a better future Chopra’s tireless perseverance fuses together with her illimitable zeal and enables her to inspire women to embrace feminism. She dared to be one of the first people to start an initiative for parity in Bollywood: “At a time when female-centric story lines were considered the ultimate swan songs in testosterone-riddled Bollywood, Chopra’s uninhibited performance as a small-town beauty with supermodel ambitions swivelled heads for its stark vulnerability, resulting in a national film award for best actress, and meatier subsequent roles” (Gale Database). The hyperbole, “testosterone- riddled” illustrates the male dominance. The phrase “swan songs” refers to the myth that swans are mute their whole lives, but just when they are about to die, they sing beautifully. This metaphor describes the belief that women were a part of movies just to sing, dance, and support the men. When they endeavored to lead, they were replaced, which was clearly unfair. Thus, she dedicated herself to smash this myth, and did indeed, in Priyanka Chopra style, succeed in rising higher and lasting longer in the industry than men. Supplementally, Chopra emboldens her audience, more importantly women, to dream bigger than ever: “There was never a plan. All I had to do was recognize [opportunities] and make sure I worked so hard that I squeezed every single drop out of these opportunities. This, ladies and gentlemen, is called drive; It’s called ambition. So, no matter where you are in life, you are never experienced enough to explore new opportunities. And there is nothing wrong in being ambitious. Ladies, listen to me” (NDTV). Chopra’s words such as “squeezed” and “experienced enough” illustrate her ardency, and prove that although destiny plays a sizably voluminous role in success, one doesn’t have to be lucky in order to receive opportunities. She reveals that the secret to success is pure hard- work. She did not have a ten-year plan or a five-year plan or even a one-year plan; all she had was a right- now plan. Additionally, the third sentence of this quote shows Chopra’s humility, since even after climbing so high on the ladder of success, she still continues to be willing to learn. Thus, through her perseverance, most Indian women believe that they can actually work to impact the world, and become self-sufficient, instead of depending on their husbands or fathers. She even made them believe that once they break out of their cocoons, they will become beautiful butterflies that are capable of soaring high above in the sky. Chopra does walk on difficult paths, but those are what lead her to the beautiful destinations that her blood races to visually perceive.


121656She is immensely popular in both India and America Chopra uplifts India wherever she goes; her zeal is her motivation for persevering through obstacles. She ascertains to crush prejudiced mental pictures that foreigners might have about India. Chopra thinks of herself as a living, walking ambassador of her country- India. She credits all her learnings to her career in Bollywood. Additionally, she shows the world the true power of women. Her achievements are greater than that of any man that began beside her. She holds the hand of millions of women and leads them out of their shells. Furthermore, she has the zeal to never stop achieving. No success is ever big enough for her to stop. Moreover, Chopra is an inspiration because she shares her experiences to make others’ journeys easier than hers: “I hope, through my experiences, I can present to you the tools to live your dreams and to not live your life by the glass ceiling defined by society” (NDTV). She does not want anyone in the world to be circumscribed. She urges people to break every plan, and just take a leap of faith towards their dreams and goals. Also, she awes people by not being selfish: “‘... she’ll later call him again to give story suggestions to a character and subplot totally unrelated to hers’” (Tharpe). She inspires others to help; she is like a candle, who knows that her light would never diminish by giving light to others. Chopra personally inspires me to stand out rather than to blend in. I can relate to her since I too started schooling in the United States after studying in a totally different education system for more than 13 years and had lots of struggles to surmount such as accent issues, looking different from the majority, representing India well, and pressure to prosper in school in order to get into an Ivy League university. Priyanka Chopra motivates me to embrace her mantra of working strenuously- to study for 15 years to become a cardiac surgeon. She invokes passion in me to build a world in which girls are considered a blessing instead of a burden. But most importantly Chopra animates me to never quit. Indeed, every failure she encountered, she did not let it define her, she did not let it ravage her; instead, she let it strengthen her, and wore it like a diamond necklace around her neck, whose diamonds were connected through invisible braces of determination.



Works Consulted

Gajjar, Saloni. “All the Reasons Priyanka Chopra is a Global Icon.”, India Web Portal,     28 Dec. 2016, 10:40 PM,        

"Priyanka Chopra." Newsmakers, vol. 3, Gale, 2016. Student Resources in Context, Accessed 4 Jan. 2018.

“Priyanka Chopra Speaks On Breaking The Glass Ceiling.” NDTV, NDTV, 27 Dec. 2017.

Tharpe, Frazier. “Priyanka Chopra Talks Racism and Her Rise to Fame.”, Complex Media, 2016,











Page created on 2/16/2018 6:08:25 PM

Last edited 2/25/2018 4:50:03 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Priyanka Chopra Network - This is a website managed by Priyanka Chopra's fan club. It provides all updates about her daily life- news and gossip. It even tracks her daily shoots of Quantico. Furthermore, this website also mentions how she started her journey as an actress and contains lots of stories about her past.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador - This is the official website UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund). The website contains all the information about Chopra's roles and duties for this position.