By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer
This past Sunday, New York’s Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America for the year 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. At the 87th annual show, Davuluri became the first Indian-American in Miss America history to win the crown! Now, contrary to popular belief, the Miss America pageant isn’t a stereotypical, shallow modeling event. Yes, the pageant does focus on the beauty of women, but it also looks at other aspects of the contestants such as their talent, education, and dreams. The Miss America pageant awards academic scholarships to the institution of their choice, and is considered the largest provider of scholarship money to young women in the United States.
So, what is it about Davuluri that makes her the perfect winner for this year? Well, this talented young lady proved that making a silly mistake (like forgetting to take the stage when the host is announcing) won’t stop you from dazzling the crowd and taking the crown. Davuluri made up for the embarrassing flub in the talent portion of the pageant, wowing the audience with her traditional Bollywood dancing performance.
Unfortunately, Davuluri’s win and Indian pride has caused the internet to target her with many racist tweets, Facebook statuses, and YouTube comments. Some of the worst jabs involved Twitter users calling her “the Arab,” while people on Facebook vocalized their annoyance with “a terrorist being crowned Miss America.” Now, the most outrageous and annoying racist comments came from scandalized tweeters that blamed Davuluri and her heritage for the 9/11 attacks. It seems that these uninformed Twitter users are unaware that India and al-Qaeda (the group responsible for the 9/11 attacks) are the furthest thing from related.
Let’s forget about these ignorant people and get back to Davuluri, though. Is the racism affecting her at all? Nope! Davuluri is one strong American woman who won’t let the haters bring her down. “I have to rise above that. I always viewed myself as first and foremost American,” she said in a press conference after winning the crown. “I’m so happy this organization has embraced diversity. I’m thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America.”
Well, there you have it. Twitter and Facebook may be going crazy with anger, but at the end of the day, Miss New York is proud to be the winner! Davuluri will perform her first duties as Miss America later in the week when she visits the wrecked New Jersey boardwalk that suffered serious damage after a fire.
Images courtesy of Miss America Facebook.