If you were a famous actress, would you be willing to read negative comments about yourself, out loud, on camera? Priyanka Chopra was — and did. "'I would call Priyanka fish-lipped but don’t want to insult the fish,'" she reads in a video created for Pantene’s #GoGentle campaign. Although she continues to recite similar comments with a laugh and good sense of humor, the overall point is clear: The digital world can be harsh, divisiveness is at an all-time high, and as a result, people are seeking out positivity more than ever. Even after Chopra reads a seemingly kind comment ("you’re irreplaceable"), she reacts with skepticism: "Wait, is that sarcastic or something? It… it’s nice."
Chopra’s response, as minor as it may seem, reveals a deeper truth about the digital environment we’re all continually immersed in. It’s conditioned us to expect a certain level of negativity from others, which, in turn, makes it tempting to be negative back. But it doesn’t have to — and definitely shouldn’t — be that way. That’s why we’ve partnered with Pantene to promote their #GoGentle message, which Chopra is the face of.
"Being harsh shows insecurities; being harsh shows weakness," says the actress. "Gentle is brave; it’s courageous."
And in case you’re wondering if Chopra practices what she preaches, she most certainly does. The actress knows firsthand just how important words ― both good and bad ― are. She shares openly about unpleasant experiences, from being bullied in high school to being on the receiving end of racism and sexism in the entertainment industry. And she uses her current platform to wield the power of speech in overcoming harshness. Just a quick scan of her Twitter feed reveals positive affirmation after positive affirmation. Phrases like "thank you," "so proud," "congrats," and "wonderful to see you" decorate her posts. She spreads words encouragement, messages of kindness, and declarations of love.
"'My daughter says her two heroes are Michelle Obama and Priyanka Chopra,'" reads the actress from a comment that reflects the spirit of #GoGentle. "This is what the internet is meant for!" We couldn't agree more. And listen, we're all guilty of having maybe posted something a teensy bit snarky once. This isn't about being the comments police. What it is about is trying to do better going forward — trying to make the digital space better going forward. As Chopra says: "With so much harshness in the world, all the more reason to go gentle."
This post is sponsored by Pantene.