Yesterday, history was made when the first Indian American, Nina Davuluri, was crowned Miss America. I needed my antennae up for Miss America information since I recently became involved with pageants. Over the weekend, my pageant coach’s tone of voice echoed in my head. Indian lady,” she said as she pulled up pictures of Nina Davuluri, informing me about how exactly crazy people are for Miss New York. There have been three state-title holders in the Miss America system for 2013. She is right Maybe, I thought. Maybe it is the rise of the Indian woman.
As an Indian American woman, about to turn into a pageant lady, this definitely helped my confidence for my forthcoming competition in the Miss New Jersey USA pageant 2013 (Miss USA/Miss Universe pageant systems). Today at a ongoing work orientation, after having been relatively separated from internet and technology for 24-hours due to a recent move, I sat in a meeting room surrounded by about forty co-workers which i am only getting acquainted with. Brightly shown was Miss America, the 24-calendar year old physician to be with an image of Nina Davuluri putting on a crown, but no true name was captioned.
I wanted to know more. Was that the Miss NY that my pageant trainer told me about? It looked like her certainly. I would check up on my lunch break, I decided, as I did so not have access to the internet on my “ancient” slider phone. As it proved, Miss Nina Davuluri did win the Miss America crown. I had been very excited.
I was thrilled a South Asian American woman had finally earned a U.S.-wide nationwide pageant. I was thrilled that my pageant coach was right about any of it being the rise of the Indian woman. Most of all, I was thrilled that I felt that my chances at being the next Miss New Jersey USA were more real. The crowning of the Indian-American Miss America empowered me, as I’m sure it did and will continue steadily to impact many Indian Americans.
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Excited, I sent out a mass text message about Nina’s win to some close friends and family that have been especially supportive of me through this pageant preparation experience. I acquired mixed responses back in regards to the text. Some were encouraging, some were general happiness, plus some were apathetic. The written text that stood out if you ask me read, “I understand right, Nina Davuluri. J People are so against it, RACISTS.” Of course I wasn’t surprised that people experienced racist what to say concerning this outcome. Whatever makes an underprivileged group feel great will turn into a – wait around– you remain underprivileged-moment quickly. I felt anger at this.
Something which i felt happy about was quickly being turned into something that I should feel angry about. Later that day, I logged onto my Gmail and Facebook accounts. I intended to find an article that boasted Nina’s win and post it on my Facebook. But before I could do this, the first email in my inbox was a link to an article from CNN titled, “Miss America Crowns First Winner of Indian American Descent”.