Saturday, September 21, 2013

Media Moment, First Indian Miss America

Reactions to First Indian Miss America on Buzzfeed

While I do not watch the pageant when I heard that, Nina Davuluri, an Indian-American won I was pleasantly surprised because the "Miss America" stereotypical image is basically a thin, tall, "white" girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. The feeling didn't last very long however, beacause the next day I read on Buzzfeed the various reactions that were tweeted about the pageant. I was shocked to read very racist comments ranging from misindentifying her as an "Arab" to saying that Miss America is for Americans and apparently that is only the white race. I became interested with the history of the pageant and found out that till the 70's non-white contestants were not even allowed to compete and since then there have still only been a few winners of African American descent. Growing up in history class one thing that was always emphasized was that America is a "melting pot" and people of all religions and races are accepted. We have all assimilted with each other and our respective cultures but I wonder if maybe the definiton of beauty is still not diverse? Is beauty still essentially "white"?


  1. I think we are living in a period of history in which things are changing before our eyes. It is possible that people are more accepting of other cultures in America today than they were 20 years ago, and in 20 years from today, I think it will only get better. With that being said, I was still surprised that people spoke out against Miss America being an Indian-American. The top two were Asian American women, which says a lot about how we are progressing and becoming more accepting as a country. But of course, more acceptance always comes with more controversy. I think that in America's eyes beauty is still essentially white, but I see it progressing slowly and I hope I'm alive when Miss America can be crowned without controversy and regardless of her skin color or culture.

  2. While I think that more and more people of color are being shown in the media, there are still predominantly white people shown in the media. I think because of that those people who made racist comments about the new Miss America think of "true" Americans as people who are white. The people who think that are definitely part of a passive audience. When people of color are shown in the media, I think their standards of beauty are tailored to a white audience. Examples of this would be when woman of color have to straighten their hair to be more acceptably "beautiful" or the divide felt in the black community about being "light skinned black" and "dark skinned black." All of those examples show that we still have a long way to go before we admire everyone and their beauty and culture.