After the event, a side-by-side crop of Padukone and Chopra circulated on social media , as both media and fans pitted the stars against one another in some kind of fierce battle for “best dressed.” In reality, the women couldn’t have worn more different things. Padukone opted for a simple Tommy Hilfiger sheath while Chopra channeled Carmen Sandiego in custom Ralph Lauren.
— MissKyra (@MissKyra12) May 2, 2017
What the meme overlooks is that both actresses were attending the Met Gala for the first time, an exciting stepping stone for entry into mainstream (and chic) Hollywood. These women don’t need to impress anyone: Padukone is one of the world’s highest-paid actresses. Chopra has played a leading role on Quantico on ABC for two seasons.
Padukone’s subtle dress — Vogue referred to it as “on the poetic side” of the Gala’s Comme des Garçons theme — drew some criticism. Outlets have had a heyday with the fact that Rihanna “liked” an Instagram post that used the Tommy Hilfiger gown as an example for celebs who didn’t adhere to the theme.
The meme creator has commented on his post in an attempt to quell the piling-on. “Yeah it was not personal it was a fact/meme about all of the celebrities in general but i checked Indian websites and they are all talking about me and Rih, how we attacked that Deepika etc that’s why they came to talk s*** here. but this makes no senses…!” he explained.
A post shared by Melvin (@melvinfenty) on May 1, 2017 at 10:19pm PDT
For her part, Padukone is staying above the drama by not even knowing about it. When a reporter asked Padukone at a L’Oréal event on Friday what she thought of the social media outcry, she wasn’t even aware of the so-called issue.
“You’re assuming I know what has happened. I have no idea what has happened,” she started off her response. After the reporter clarified, Padukone responded with class. “For me, I’ve always looked at everything as an opportunity and what you make of those opportunities. For me or for [Chopra] I’m sure, the opportunity isn’t about what we’re wearing, but it’s really about the opportunity and the privilege of being at an event like that,” she said.
She even came back with a one-liner everyone can channel: “I’m not dressing for you love, I’m dressing for myself,” she said.
— Haroon Rashid (@iHaroonRashid) May 5, 2017
Padukone explained her style philosophy, a simple aim to have fun. “My focus was to feel good in what I wear. Some people might like what I wear, some people might not like what I wear,” she said. “But I think the intention is always to have fun. Whether it’s with what you’re wearing, or the event that you’re going to, or the people you’re going to meet. Those are the memories that last forever.”
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The negative comments don’t “even enter [her] life,” she said. “I think the only time I would truly be concerned about what I wear … is if my mother gave me flack for something that I wore. Or my girlfriends gave me flack for something that I wore.” (We get it: The only thing worse than social media trolling you is your mother trolling you.)
Padukone has also spoken out about the “racist, ignorant” comparisons to Chopra she has to deal with as she navigates her entry into Hollywood and American media. A cringeworthy video taken at LAX earlier this year shows a paparazzo calling out “Priyanka, Priyanka” as Padukone exits security. “I think just because people have similar skin tones, doesn’t mean they are same people,” she told News18. “As people in a place of power that the media has, instead of creating a tabloid piece of out it, people should be educating them further.”
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