Bollywood is the fixture piece for a prominent showdown between two sexy starlets over who will have the most Instagram followers in the near future. Urvashi Rautela, who is the youngest candidate to ever win the Most Beautiful Woman in the Universe title per Times of India, has 10.1 million Instagram followers. Disha Patani — widely regarded as one of the most beautiful women in Bollywood — has 13.3 million Instagram followers. While Patani has greater global recognition — and a successful film and modeling career as the cornerstone of her brand — Rautela is not quite as well known outside of India.
To make things even more interesting, this all appears to be a one person competition. Patani is not acknowledging any kind of race to gain more followers. She has been posting as she usually does, and has not been begging for more like or followers. Although she is aware of what Rautela has been saying in the spirit of a social media competition, she has mostly smiled and shrugged it off when questioned about it.
Rautela has been more open about her desire to grow her social media following beyond numbers posted by Patani. While she makes good money performing and modeling, when it comes to making money for sponsored posts on social media — those missives which a person is paid to post for a company as a brand ambassador — Patani makes more than Rautela. This is based partly on her higher degree of fame, but mostly because of her larger social media reach. It has been theorized that Rautela wants to be in that same earning range — or higher.
Another reason that has been floated as a possible motive for Rautella promoting the social media competition is to draw away attention from recent problems plaguing her Instagram account.
The paparazzi believed that Rautella’s dinner with Ahaan Panday was just a publicity stunt. She wrote a lengthy caption on her Instagram about it, slamming the press. Later, accusations that she plagiarized the caption from an Instagram post from Gigi Hadid — talking about rumors regarding her relationship with Zayn Malik — arose, as reported by TimesNowNews.
Rautella has fired her PR team, but she has been very active in trying to tamp down any discussion of that error, instead trying to get people talking about her in a more positive manner. As such, this odd one-way follower contest that she seems to be promoting against Patani makes some degree of sense. It certainly has changed the conversation on a number of prominent Bollywood entertainment sites.
Finally, it could just be that Rautella is looking to generate some simple buzz. She revels in her reputation for pulling off big publicity gimmicks, so much so that she even posts about them on her social media accounts.
Whether Rautella continues to try to expand her follower base on Instagram to surpass Patani — or if this was just more of Rautella being Rautella — only time will tell.