Nina Davuluri performs a fusion of Bharatanatyam and Bollywood dance, on the song Dhoom Taana from the Bollywood movie Om Shanti Om, at the 2014 Miss America Pageant. She went on to win the pageant, becoming becoming the first Indian-American to wear the crown.
Nina Davuluri becomes the first Indian-American to win the Miss America Pageant and her win also marks the growing visibility and cultural influence of Indian-Americans.
But with success comes criticism too (Bollywood fans are used to that with several blockbusters getting teared apart by critics). Soon after the winner was announced, several taunts (mostly racist) erupted on social media.
Here are some of the taunts on the social media:
- “And the Arab wins Miss America. Classic,”
- ‘Ummm wtf? Have we forgotten 9/11?’
- ‘How the f*** does a foreigner win miss America? She is a Arab!’
- ‘Miss America? You mean Miss 7-11,’
- ‘Miss America is brought to by their sponsors PF Changs and 7-11,’
When asked about the criticism, especially those which said that she is, somehow, not American, she was quite dignified in her answer and said that: ‘I have to rise above that.’ She preferred to stay above the muck, and said that she always viewed herself as first and foremost American.
The attacks did embarrass several Americans though as there were tweets that were apologetic as well.
More about Nina Davuluri…
Nina Davuluri, the newly crowned Miss America was born in Syracuse, N.Y., and became an honors student at the University of Michigan, where she earned a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science.
She wants to be a doctor, and is applying to medical school, with the help of a $50,000 scholarship she won as part of the pageant title.
So the winner of a Beauty Pageant wants to be a doctor? Something unheard of here in India. For them, the road leads to Bollywood. Isn’t It?