When Priyanka Chopra was still 17, she won the Miss India pageant in 2000, and later that year represented her country at the Miss World pageant — which she also won at age 18.
The former “Quantico” star, 18, pageant 20 years ago when she was just 18, sharing a throwback photo of her proud 18-year-old self wearing her sash and crown
“Miss World at 18!” she wrote in the caption. “The turn of the millennium…the year 2000! Wow…feels like just yesterday I was living this dream.”
She continued: “Now, almost 20 years later, my enthusiasm for changing the status quo remains as strong and is at the core of everything I do. I truly believe girls have the power to bring about change if they get the opportunities they deserve. #strivehigher #dreambig.”
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#TBT Miss World at 18! The turn of the millennium…the year 2000! Wow. It feels like just yesterday I was living this dream. Now, almost 20 years later, my enthusiasm for changing the status quo remains as strong and is at the core of everything I do. I truly believe girls have the power to bring about change if they get the opportunities they deserve. #strivehigher #dreambig
Interestingly enough, the biggest challenge facing Chopra when she initially competed for Miss India was her accent — because it wasn’t Indian enough.
In an interview with the Mumbai Mirror, Sabira Merchant, who trained Chopra for the pageant, revealed that the aspiring beauty queen had picked up an American accent while she attending high school in Indiana.
“It was an honest American accent which she had picked up naturally,” Merchant said. “Nothing was put on. When you are that young, you are impressionable and you pick up the accent you are hearing all around you.”
However, a Miss India with an American accent simply would not fly. As a result, Merchant found herself in the unique position of retraining Chopra in how to regain the Indian accent she had shed.
Luckily for Merchant, Chopra was a supremely hard worker. “I would be like, ‘Now Priyanka we have done enough work. You can relax, you are okay.’ And she would say, ‘No, no, just one more question.’ She was so bent on improving herself,” Merchant added. “She was so keen that it was just unbelievable.”