Monday, September 16, 2013

First Indian-American Miss America!

(Watching Miss America with Maya, Sunday evening)

Yes, confession guilty pleasure is watching the Miss America pageant (OMG...I know, I know) Yes, I'm a feminist who watches Miss America!!! I usually watch it and think blehhhhh....look at all those blonde girls with orange tanned skin and fake boobs...they all look the same! This year I watched it reluctantly (because I'm addicted, I cannot NOT watch it!) and was pleasantly surprised that there were so many interesting, relatable contestants this year. There was more diversity, more intelligence, and more sassy strong women (that's what I like to see!) Within the top 5 were three Asian Americans, and the runner-up was also Asian-American, Crystal Lee.

Miss America winner did a killer Bollywood fusion dance

My favorite contestant, Miss New York, Nina Davuluri - ended up winning the competition and is the first Indian-American to win Miss America! I was so proud. She was my favorite because she did a kick-ass Indian fusion dance routine which combined many different styles of Indian classical dance. I had never seen anything like it on a Miss America competition and everyone in the audience was blown away. I would guess that a lot of middle-America folks watch this pageant, and it was great to see Nina represent her Indian heritage with that dance - I'm sure many had not seen before. So, in a sense, it was like a cultural education for a lot of people who may not know anything about India / Indian culture. It was freakin' fabulous! Another thing I liked about her was her question & answer - she said the idea of "the girl next door is evolving as the diversity of America evolves" which I thought was a really important message. I don't know yet what parts of India her parents came from, but it said online she did some classical Indian dance training in Vijayawada, which is right near my MIL's city of Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.

Crowning Miss America

Another contestant I liked was Miss Kansas - who is a tattooed army sergeant. How badass is that? She also made the decision to not cover up her tattoos (tattoos in the pageant are a taboo) and flaunted them with pride. Just knowing that she's an army sergeant - a leader - who can also put on a ball gown and be feminine - was inspiring and breaking stereotypes on both ends.

I also really liked the runner-up Miss California, Crystal Lee who answered a tough question about Syria, and was very articulate and intelligent. She could have actually won based on her answer.

Question / Answer - Top 5 contestants

When I told husband-ji that an Indian-American girl had won, he was proud and hopeful. He said, then maybe Maya will win Miss Canada one day...and she can do a Bharat natyam dance to win it...

It's definitely possible! What an inspiration...


What do you think, dear readers? Who was your favorite contestant? Are you glad that Nina won?



  1. Why should feminists be made guilty of watching/enjoying miss America? Sometimes women are the most judgmental for such things - you are a feminist - don't wear dresses like that - that is only for men, you are too sweet - you gotta be tough...
    Isn't that feminism - women are people too, do whatever makes you happy as long as you don't hurt others

  2. I just saw the reactions afterwards, and was horrified! And in a country where most people are immigrants from somewhere..?! By the way - thanks for a lovely blog - I enjoy reading it:-) (we are europeans in India..:-)

    1. Me too, I was so horrified. I don't understand how anyone can think an Indian = Arab??? They think a bollywood dance is middle eastern? So crazy, uneducated...
      Thanks for reading! That's so cool you live in India :) What part?


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