The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ inspirational Youtube Special

In the first episode of her new YouTube Originals special, “If You Could Tell Me Just One Thing,” which premiered on March 27, Priyanka Chopra Jonas travels through L.A. to meet with who she describes as “three incredibly inspiring women.” In this special, (which is a part of YouTube’s “Single Slate” strategy), Chopra Jonas is starting a new chapter in her life with her husband Nick Jonas and is curious about what life has in store for her.

Simone Biles, Awkwafina and Diane von Furstenberg are three successful and hardworking women who take a moment from their busy lives to sit down with Chopra Jonas and share one thing that played a part in making them who they are today.

Biles, a 22-year-old elite gymnast, reflected on her experiences with depression in her candid conversation with Chopra Jonas on Venice Beach. Biles took a brave step forward when she told her mother that she was sexually abused by her former USA Gymnastics doctor. She remembered asking her friend “the definition of ‘sexually abused’.” Biles stressed that “therapy is everything … and it needs to be more normalized” because the pressure that she –– and everyone else –– lives beneath is not healthy. She advised Chopra Jonas to take more risks and face her fears.

Chopra Jonas then met up with Awkwafina in Koreatown. As the two stars bonded over condensed milk, they discussed where Awkwafina’s comedic nature stems from. “I developed humor as a defense mechanism when I was six or seven years old. I lost my mom very young, so people, when they saw me, they would cry and I didn’t like to be this emblem of sorrow for people. I wanted people to be happy,” recalled Awkwafina.

Like Awkwafina, we need to find the light in every situation and understand that life takes its unexpected turns. Before heading off to karaoke, Awkwafina told Chopra Jonas just one thing: “Life is only a series of ups and downs. When you go up, there is nowhere to go but down. When you are down, there is no way to go but up.”

The last woman Chopra Jonas spoke with was fashion icon, von Furstenberg. Now 72 years old, she reflected on her passionate but flawed marriage. “I wanted a man’s life in a woman’s body,” she told Chopra Jonas. She explained that she was frustrated with women not being treated equally as men –– specifically how women were looked down upon for having affairs while men were not. “I am very happy I did [have affairs],” von Furstenberg reveals to Chopra Jonas. She advised Chopra Jonas that “the most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself.” This means to love yourself first, and “it’s just owning who you are,” as von Furstenberg describes it.

Chopra Jonas’ unreserved episode on seeking life advice was a much-needed reality check for her and for her viewers. Oftentimes we value the opinions of others and society’s unreasonable standards more than the important things, such as our mental health, self-love and a positive outlook. The advice Biles, von Furstenberg and Awkwafina gave was uplifting. These powerful women’s words remind us to take a step back and enjoy our life, including all of its obstacles.

Biles emphasizes that we are not the only ones going through difficult situations and that a traumatic experience does not define us. Talking to someone and sharing your experience helps to overcome the fear and move on to focus on the valuable experiences life has to offer.

Awkwafina turned a potential weakness into her greatest strength. We all have to live life with the cards we are dealt and we have to learn how to adapt and make the best out of them. Von Furstenberg stresses that imperfections make you who you are and you need to embrace that before you can pull along a relationship.

Now, it is my turn. If I could tell you just one thing, it is to always stay true to yourself. You are beautiful and perfect the way you are; there is no need to change for anyone else.

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About the Contributor
Priyanka Gera
Priyanka Gera, Managing Editor
Priyanka is a senior Spanish and Environmental Science double major on the pre-medical track. She has been a part of the Torch since her freshman year and has held several positions starting as a Staff Writer, then Assistant Culture Editor, Culture Editor and Digital Editor last year. As a part of the 99th E-Board, her goal is to strengthen the Torch’s online presence and grow the newspaper’s staff and contributors. She hopes to continue writing interesting and important stories for the St. John’s community. A Harry Potter fan, Priyanka is a Slytherin and loves the fourth novel in the series, “Goblet of Fire.” You can reach Priyanka at [email protected].
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