Misrepresented Miss America

By Dana Sotoodeh


  On Sept. 15, 2013, 24-year-old, Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, was crowned Miss America 2014. She is the first contestant of Indian-American descent to ever wear the beautiful crown.

Sept. 15 marked a very important day in history. It was a steppingstone for minorities who often feel undermined when the typical “blond-hair, blue-eyed beauty takes the crown. The Michigan State college graduate graced the stage in a floor-length yellow gown that complimented her skin perfectly. Her strive for a change in healthy lifestyles and education, and her overwhelming beauty, wowed America as she accepted her award.  It truly was a memorable moment in history.

While half of America stared at the television in awe of her beauty and accomplishments, the other half of America showed its ugly, ignorant, and just plain disappointing side. Much like the incident that occurred earlier this year during the Spurs playoff game, with young Mexican-American Sebastian de la Cruz, Twitter was bursting with negative comments regarding Davuluri’s win.

The ignorant twitter users tweeted away, saying negative comments such as “This is America, Not India” and “Egypt Dancing? This is America.” These comments were just some of the thousands of racial and uninformed comments streaming under the hashtag, #missamerica. Twitter users ranted about how she may have ties to Al-Qaeda by creating comments such as “ Miss America is a terrorist, whatever it’s fine,” and plenty of others. People argued the bombshell blonde, Miss Kansas, should have won because she’s a “real American” and loves tattoos and hunting.

Let me stop this nonsensical talk right there. Since when was beauty in American defined by a blonde bombshell that likes hunting and tattoos? Since when did this “free” country we are so proud to call home, accept the idea that an Indian-American was not worth our “oh so precious” American crown? Last time I checked, we all had equal rights and equal protection under the law. Last time I checked, we pride ourselves on being the best nation in the world. How can we put ourselves on a pedestal when our citizens are so close-minded and ignorant?

These are questions that have yet to be answered and I’m not sure if they ever will be. All I know is respect for one another is crucial in making this nation the wonderful nation we build it up to be. We should pride ourselves on our beautiful, and well-deserved, Miss America, and use this steppingstone as a beacon of hope for nations who experience inequality on a daily basis. Until that happens, we are not, in any way shape or form, the “best nation in the world.”


E-mail Sotoodeh at sotoodeh@student.uiwtx.edu

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