She may be one of the most beautiful women on the planet, but even Priyanka Chopra has felt the pressure to look perfect.
In her new memoir Unfinished, which was released Tuesday, February 9, the 38-year-old is opening up about a nose surgery she had that left her feeling “hopeless” and “devastated.”
In an excerpt from the deeply personal book, Chopra revealed that less than a year after winning Miss World in 2000, she had to have a polyp surgically removed from her nasal cavity. During what should have been a routine procedure, the doctor accidentally shaved the bridge of her nose, causing it to collapse and leaving the beauty queen “horrified.”
"I felt devastated and hopeless," she writes. "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,” she writes.
Cruelly dubbed “Plastic Chopra" by the press, the Bollywood star endured the flip side of fame.
"I was dared to give an explanation for the obviously different nose, but I chose a course then that I’ve followed in all the years since,” she writes. “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 you 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."
Chopra was dropped from two of the first films she was signed on to make following the botched surgery, and even was told by one producer that she needed to undergo plastic surgery in order to have a successful film career.
“After a few minutes of small talk, the director/producer told me to stand up and twirl for him. I did,” she writes, per a passage that ran in The Independent. “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 more 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.”
"All the talk of body parts and skin tone collectively made me feel devalued and unseen and uncertain about my future,” she continued. “Having experienced the aftermath of a supposedly simple 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. My difference is my strength. If I looked like other 'classically beautiful' girls, then I wouldn’t stand out, and more important, I wouldn’t be me."
The Quantico actress underwent several corrective surgeries and has since "gotten accustomed” to her now famous face.
"Now when I look in the mirror, I am no longer surprised; I’ve made peace with this slightly different me," she writes. "... 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."
One person always Chopra's corner is her husband Nick Jonas. Ahead of the memoir's release, the 28-year-old musician took to Instagram to gush about his wife's accomplishment.
"So incredibly proud of you @priyankachopra," he wrote, before proceeding to a "quick question."
"Can I please get a signed copy? everyone go pre order my wife’s beautiful memoir now!" he wrote.
Chopra responded to the support, writing, "Only if I get an autographed copy of BLOOD! Let’s get it!! I love u baby! ?"
Excerpts from Unfinished were obtained by Entertainment Tonight.