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Miss America becomes victim to racist backlash

Jess Smith

Nina Davuluri claimed the title Miss America in Atlantic City

Nina Davuluri became the first Miss America of Indian descent


Miss America 2013 has risen from the Empire State for the second year in a row, but this year’s winner has made history with her title. Nina Davuluri has been the first pageant contestant of Indian descent to get the title of Miss America, which brought in huge waves of support for Davuluri and prompted Davuluri to nickname herself “Miss Diversity.”

“I’m most excited to promote my platform, I was the first Indian Miss New York and I’m so proud to be the first Indian Miss America,” she said.

The 24-year-old pageant queen reigns from Fayetteville, New York. Her father immigrated to the states 30 years ago and became a successful gynecologist. Nina Davuluri attended the University of Michigan and received a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science.

Nina Davuluri has been an advocate for healthy living since she battled obesity and an eating disorder in her younger years, where she claimed to have been 60 pounds heavier during her last couple of years at the University of Michigan.  In a twist of irony, Davuluri got into some hot water when she was overheard spewing some catty remarks about last year’s winner, Mallory Hagan.

After claiming the crown as Miss New York on July 16, Davuluri went to a hotel with some people to celebrate when a competitor overhead Nina Davuluri refer to Hagan as “fat as sh**.” Davuluri’s hypocritical comments were recorded along with racist remarks made by some of her friends who were in the hotel room with her.

Shortly after the comments were making headlines, Davuluri took to Facebook to apologize for her friend’s racist comments and denied any wrongdoing.

“I want to apologize for the awful statements by people in my room…there were people who claimed to be my supporters and said things I never agreed with nor supported,” Nina Davuluri explained. “I was never a part of the words or statements that may have been hurtful…I’m sorry if someone said something that was inappropriate.”

Since winning the sparkly tiara, Davuluri has been the target from racists who feel she is not American enough to have won the title.  Twitter exploded with ignorant remarks to people referring to her as a Muslim and even going on to say she resembled a terrorist. FOX News host Ted Harnes made a remark with racist undertones when he suggested the gun toting, Miss Kansas should have won.

“The liberal Miss America judges won’t say this-but Miss Kansas lost because she actually represented American values,” he said.

Davuluri is actually the perfect representation for this country, being the embodiment of the cultural melting pot that is essentially America. Davuluri’s platform was the competition was “Celebrating Diversity Through Cultural Competency” and her talent of choice that helped her win the competition consisted of Bollywood moves and classic Indian dances.

When asked about the racist backlash, Miss America described her pride. “I have to rise above that,” she explained. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

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