Show Priyanka Chopra some respect — she's so much more than just Nick Jonas' wife

Photo: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue
Photo: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue

In a week when every other headline is about the newlyweds Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, Vogue‘s cover story featuring the Indian actress is perfectly timed. In a week when a writer for The Cut decided to malign Chopra as a “scam artist,” however, Vogue’s cover lines for Chopra’s interview are very unfortunate. Unwise and untrue, you might even say.

“Priyanka Chopra on breaking barriers and landing the man of her dreams,” reads the cover of the January issue.

The reactions were swift: “You have a strong successful woman and you are going with ‘landing the man of her dreams’ really Vogue?” asked Elena on Twitter.

“Yeah because that is the purpose of a woman’s ambition: ‘landing’ the man of her dreams,” Mahwash Ajaz wrote sarcastically.

It’s a pretty odd choice, probably made by an editor, not the writer, Abby Aguirre. The article itself gives exactly the opposite impression of their love story. Repeating what we’ve learned in bits and pieces over the past few months, Jonas and Chopra recount how Jonas first DM’ed the actress on Twitter. She gave him her phone number so that her “team” wouldn’t be able to read their “friendly with an eye toward flirtation” exchange, as Jonas put it. They had a drink at an Oscar after-party after he famously got on one knee. They met once more before attending the Met Gala together in 2017, when they partied all night.

Joe Jonas backs up the notion of Nick being the pursuer: “I think she kind of knocked him off his feet,” he told Vogue of his brother after their second date. “He was just this little puppy dog.”

Then she jetted off to Zimbabwe, and they didn’t see each other again for a whole year, until the 2018 Met Gala. Does any of this sound like a woman intent on “landing” a man?

There’s another logical error with the Vogue headline and the now-deleted Cut article’s characterization of Chopra as a woman on the hunt for an American husband: She is worth more and more famous than he is. According to Yahoo Finance India’s calculations, Chopra is worth $28 million, thanks to earnings from TV and movies, endorsements, her production company and real estate investment. Celebrity Net Worth estimates that her new husband’s value is just $25 million, coming from his music and acting career.

ABC’s Quantico, though it only ran for three seasons, solidified Chopra’s place as an American, as well as a Bollywood, star. No shade to Jonas, but his last album was out in 2016, and his most recent acting gig was the Audience Network series Kingdom, whose last episode aired in August last year. It’s not likely she was making some calculated effort to increase her fame by dating him, although at least in the short term, this wedding craze certainly has made us more fascinated with both of them.

“The presumption that Chopra is chasing Jonas (or any other white American) for his success is absurd,” wrote Jezebel in response to the Cut piece.

Our collective fascination with their relationship began long before these two stories. After the 2017 Met Gala date, Jimmy Kimmel teased Chopra about the silly idea that she’d had of dating Jonas. “Isn’t he, like, 11 years old?” Kimmel asked, and she laughed it off.

At 36, Chopra is, in fact, 10 years older than her husband, and our society still isn’t used to the idea of a woman being older than her husband. Even her BFF Meghan Markle being three years older than Prince Harry seemed to take some people aback. These are women in the prime of their careers and lives, not exactly decrepit senior citizens — but even if they were, what’s it to us?

Another factor making these two juicy headline fodder was the speed with which their relationship developed. Despite their first meeting and Met Gala, they weren’t really dating until May 2018. According to their Vogue story, they got engaged the day after her birthday in July. They were one of three hot young couples to put a ring on it so swiftly this summer, and you know the media (certainly not we at MAKERS) can’t ignore anything that comes in threes.

“For celebrities for whom divorce is not financially devastating in the way it is for us mere mortals, maybe a wedding is just a big fancy party for their relationship,” psychologist Ramani Durvasula told Yahoo Lifestyle when asked why couples like Chopra and Jonas, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin, and Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande got engaged so fast.

Yes, one of those three couples is already kaput. Yes, celebrity marriages seem to have a poorer track record than civilian ones. Yes, we somehow feel invested in their happiness anyway. After looking at all those photos of the elaborate ceremonies in Jodhpur over the weekend, how could we not fall under the illusion that we’ve sort of attended the wedding of two friends?

In that case, rather than criticizing these newlyweds for their rapid courtship or possibly inequalities, we might want to take them at their word. Based on their interviews, they seem like quite a supportive, well-matched pair.

“I love the way you look at the world. I love the drive you have,” Jonas said to Chopra on a date, she told Vogue. “As a girl, I’ve never had a guy tell me, ‘I like your ambition.’ It’s always been the opposite.”

Read more from MAKERS:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting