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How the Western Media Dissected the News of Desi Girl Priyanka and Disney Boy Nick's Engagement

This already feels like a 'royal wedding'.

Simantini Dey | News18.com

Updated:August 20, 2018, 5:20 PM IST
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How the Western Media Dissected the News of Desi Girl Priyanka and Disney Boy Nick's Engagement
Image credits: Priyanka Chopra / Facebook
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It's common knowledge that entertainment talk shows can be a bit snarky. In fact, for the demographic they cater to, it is a big part of their charm. However, a particular show, Live From E! stooped a new level of low while reporting the engagement of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas last week.

The three hosts of the show sat and discussed a very important question about Chopra and Jonas' life: Will the couple marry during the holidays?

"It will happen when Harry and Meghan have a free break in their schedule," observed Melanie Bromley, one of the hosts of the show, in her very British accent. The other host, Morgan Stewart, replied with a look of disbelief, "NOOO! They are not showing up for a Chopra wedding!", while the third host, Zuri Hall, pointed out how the whole thing seems like a PR stunt, and therefore, her guess is both Chopra and Jonas would want to make news with their marriage and have Harry and Meghan on the guest list.

You can watch the discussion here.

Logically, each of these assumptions can be countered. One can argue that although not all British might have got the memo, the sun has indeed set on the British kingdom (sorry to break the news), and the world doesn't revolve around British royals anymore (Thank God!).

Therefore, if a certain British prince can date models, and interior designer, before marrying a TV actress, he may not find it below him to attend the marriage ceremony of another. Prince Harry is egalitarian that way, as years of his public life have shown us. One may also say that if both Chopra and Jonas wanted to use their relationship for publicity, then why not a big engagement bash?

Clearly, these hosts have no clue what grand affairs these parties can be in Bollywood and what kind of media limelight it can garner when everyone from the industry starts posting photos of the event on the social media. Surely, Chopra has that kind of clout in Bollywood.




However, it's almost paradoxical to counter assumptions and snide remarks of talk show hosts with logic, and quite unnecessary in this particular case, because most of the other publications, websites and channels did a fairly decent job in covering Chopra-Jonas' engagement. Well, almost.

BBC, as always, tried to put up a report without judgment. In an article headlined, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas confirm their engagement, they mentioned in detail all of Chopra's accomplishments.

"Time magazine named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world two years ago, and last year Forbes magazine included her in a list of the world's 100 most powerful women," noted the BBC article (Hello, Live From E! hosts! Are you listening?)

The article also pointed out that Chopra is a decade older than Jonas.

CNN too, reported the engagement, reminding us that Chopra and Jonas' engagement news "ends weeks of speculation after a huge rock was visible in a photo of Chopra and Indian actress Raveena Tandon that the latter posted on Instagram on Tuesday ."

Most big US and UK media publications also reported the engagement including People.com, Foxnews.com, and USA Today. In fact, Daily Mail Uk also wrote many lines on the traditional Indian ceremony of engagement called Roka and how Priyanka Chopra wore a yellow sari (what?) for it.

However, more often than not, the news of Chopra-Jonas' engagement was about everything surrounding the engagement, than about the engagement itself. Of course, whether Meghan and Harry will attend the wedding was one question that was a hot topic but that wasn't the only one.

To begin with, there was the unavoidable clubbing of Chopra-Jonas romance with the bunch of other celebrity romances that translated into engagement announcements recently. Even BBC could not avoid that. Several media publication pointed out how Chopra-Jonas' 'whirlwind romance' and quick engagement is yet another 'sudden' high profile engagement announcements in Hollywood, following Ariana Grande's engagement with Pete Davidson, and Justin Bieber popping the question to Hailey Baldwin.

The western media pointed out several times that the Disney boy, Nick Jonas, was now 'taken' and that his fans have a lot of 'feelings' about his engagement. To be fair, there are several 'it should have been me' reactions on Twitter, with young girls who have grown-up watching Jonas in Camp Rock (2008) and Jonas Brothers: Living the dream (2008-2010) finally realizing that Nick is off the market for good. However, many media outlets made it about the reactions of the fans more than the engagement itself.

In ABC news, a talk show host observed, " Nick Jonas is beloved. So, it's a lot like when Prince Harry got engaged to Meghan Markle," which is why young girls are feeling 'betrayed' to which another hostess replied that a lot of men are broken hearted too because Chopra as well is now 'taken'.

While it is obvious that both Jonas and Chopra wanted to keep their engagement a 'private' affair, the extent to which it has been covered by the media not just in India, but also abroad only goes to show that the kind of popularity the couple enjoys across the world.

While Jonas has had his entire teen years and early twenties to build his fandom, Chopra's foray in Hollywood is fairly recent. However, in that short time, she has not only got a sure-footing in the movie biz but has also managed to win hearts --- not just of Jonas and his families' but also of thousands of fans across the globe, which only goes to show, that Harry or not, Priyanka Chopra's wedding will be a much talked about affair because of who she is and not just because of who she is marrying or who all will be on the guest list. Haven't you heard the song? Ain't nobody like a desi girl.
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