Actor Priyanka Chopra posted a selfie on a Tuesday morning telling all that she stepped out on the streets of the US after living under lockdown for two months. She was seen wearing a fancy mask in the picture. Her black-and-white printed mask was sourced by the popular stylist Avo Yermagyan, who is known to style the Jonas Brothers. Also Read - Three-Phase Unlock 1.0 From Tomorrow: States Decide Dos List, Centre Clears Don'ts List
The former Miss World thanked Avo for providing her the stylish mask that featured a newspaper-print detail and beautiful curves. As stunning as that mask and Priyanka looked in the picture, it made us think why this essential item that protects us against the pandemic has been spoiled by commercialism. Is it so important to convert a health essential into a fashionable product and make it a style statement just for some more money? Also Read - Coronavirus: As Second-Last Day of Lockdown 4.0 Ends, Here's Where The Four Most-Affected States Stand
Classism at its best?
Priyanka is such a global star that whatever she posts on social media takes no time in becoming the top trend online. This time too, her selfie with that fancy mask went viral on social media, also reaching the parts of the world where the pandemic has created an unfathomable and unprecedented situation.
When Priyanka wears an expensive mask, she promotes a product that highlights the sad reality of commercialism at its best. What else would you call the situation when you see a UN Goodwill ambassador encouraging (intentionally or unintentionally) manufacturers who are trying to gain profit by producing masks to match a person’s outfit in the times of COVID-19?
People wearing leaf-masks in Priyanka Chopra’s country
Back in her home country, people are trying to protect themselves from contracting the deadly virus by wearing makeshift masks made from leaves. In the absence of any protective measures against the coronavirus, people who have been living without any financial assistance are fixing the situation by creating masks made from leaves in various parts of the country, especially the tribal regions. Even for people in the cities – the migrant workers, daily wage workers and local employees at small firms, it’s difficult to manage their day-to-day essential expenses for food and shelter, let alone spending to buy a mask.
What message does the picture of a celebrity wearing an exotically designed mask give in such trying times? That we have to look as stylish as always even while dealing with a deadly virus. That we are privileged enough to afford fashion when more than half of our country is struggling to adopt minimalism. That we will give in to the demands of the ridiculous spread of classism in the times when equality is needed the most.
Screenshot from a website selling expensive designer masks (Photo Courtesy: https://www.absolurisque.com/designer_masks)
Whatever happens to the idea of sustainable fashion!
What’s more disturbing here is to realise that Priyanka is just not a random celebrity who would do away with setting an example that totally goes against the nature of sustainable fashion. She’s a woman who rocked a bindi at her Met Gala appearance just to represent a part of Indian culture on one of the most recognised red carpets of the world. She’s a woman who always greets by folding her hands wherever she goes and whoever she addresses. When she wears a saree, she makes sure to help the local craftsmen and weavers of her country who could profit from her outing and an increase in sales thereafter.
For a woman like her, who has been leading by an example and making the right choices-the right noises, becoming a victim to cupidity is unfair and sad. All this when we would rather prefer someone to talk about the importance of simplicity, minimalism, and more ways to have the fashion world supporting ecological integrity and social justice!
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