A few short years after the first Middle Eastern beauty queen hit American consciousness in the form of Rima Fakih, now we’ve broken another barrier. It’s not the gender barrier, but another background-based barrier. The first Indian-American to ever win Miss America was crowned last night. Miss America for 2014 will be the lovely and talented Nina Davuluri, formerly Miss New York. The 24-year-old hopes to become a physician when her time as the most beautiful woman in America comes to a close.
Davuluri’s contest theme was “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency,” and in the talent portion she showcased both traditional Indian dancing and awesome Bollywood dance moves in perfect unity. Davuluri, who is from Syracuse, New York, is the second Miss New York to win the contest in as many years. You think there’d be more strikes against Miss New York since the competition is held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but apparently all is forgiven when it comes to singing, dancing, beauty queens.
Sadly, her crowning was greeted with a great deal of racism, most of it from people who can’t tell the difference between an Indian and a Saudi-Arabian. Still, anyone breaking any barriers this day and age is going to face an onslaught of stupid comments from people on Twitter, so I guess that’s to be expected. Better poorly-sourced ethnic jokes on Twitter than some sort of actual real-world problems.
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