It’s certainly a treat to see a February issue of any magazine completely ignore Valentine’s Day. I have nothing against it, but thematically it’s definitely low-hanging fruit. But once again, we have a major magazine that begins with a beautiful woman — genetically blessed beyond our imagination — and then for some reason turns down her volume. While this is not, to me, as egregious as the cover of Simone Ashley, it’s still not what it could be. I suspect they were aiming at… a defiant gleam, maybe? But this is distant and disconnected and surprisingly low-energy for something cast in such sunny hues. Her tangle of windblown hair deserves to be that way because it was ravaged by a long drive in a convertible, but she looks like she fell asleep on the beach and woke up confused about what day it is. I guess this is the struggle of trying to present someone in a way people don’t see them regularly, so for Priyanka, it’s “not red-carpet perfect,” I suppose. But as we often note, surely there is acreage between that and what they’ve landed on here.

The piece was written after a visit at the Chopra Jonas home. Priyanka’s and Nick’s daughter, Malti, woke up from a nap during the interview, so Priyanka brought her downstairs and played with her while answering questions, which is probably the most they’ve said about her since she was born. They’ve been protective of her, in part because she was very premature:

Malti had to be delivered preterm, a full trimester before her due date. Babies born this early are considered “extremely” premature and often incur significant, long-term health issues. “I was in the OR [operating room] when she came out. She was so small, smaller than my hand,” Chopra Jonas recounts, her voice halting as she holds out her palm for scale. “I saw what the intensive-care nurses do. They do God’s work. Nick and I were both standing there as they intubated her. I don’t know how they even found what they needed [in her tiny body] to intubate her.”

For the next three months, the new parents had to shuttle daily to the neonatal intensive care unit. […] “We spent every single day with her on my chest, on my husband’s chest,” Chopra Jonas says tenderly. “I didn’t know if she would make it or not.”

That is… so familiar, although her sweet baby was even earlier than mine, so that fear is multiplied. I feel for them both — imagine having to deal with that while the entire Internet is coming up with mean reasons you might have used a surrogate. Anyway, that part is pretty emotional. Interestingly, she says in the piece that she’s very good at saying plenty but never getting too personal, and the rest of the story does have that air about it. But that’s not always a bad thing; often, that’s an art.

[Photo: Zoë Ghertner; story by Jen Wang; see the full feature in the February issue of British Vogue, available via digital download and on newsstands from Tuesday, Jan. 24]