Those Who Stood for Miss America, Stood for Diversity
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2013 13:09
When Nina Davuluri, representing her home state of New York, became 2014 Miss America, both ugly and remarkable things happened. Yes I am referring the blatant racist tweets that drew attention of both local and international media, but I am also referring to the progressive conversation that took place about race in America after Miss America’s historic victory. I also want to talk about the Americans who defended her and wished her all the best from their hearts and celebrated her achievement as a proof of diversity in America.
Significantly, Davuluri was the first American of an Indian decent to win the celebrated beauty pageant. With her stunning Bollywood dance and her remarkable comments on being “first and foremost an American” before anything else, Davuluri proved that American beauty can be in many shapes and many colors.
Apart from the blatantly racist comments made by certain individuals on twitter, that called Miss America being an Arab and a terrorist, some tweets endorsed a subtle sense of racism by sounding like opinions or bashing liberal viewpoints, as tweeted by the Fox News Host Todd Starnes.
The liberal Miss America judges won’t say this - but Miss Kansas lost because she actually represented American values. #missamerica
According to Starnes, Miss Kansas was “a gun-toting, deer-hunting, military veteran” and “was America’s choice.” I agree with Starnes when he said Miss Kansas represented American values but to say that Miss Kansas lost because she “actually” represented American values is not an opinion, but making a subtle racist comment and a narrowing down of American values. I would have understood if Starnes’ opinion had said that he thought Miss Kansas should be the winner. But his original comment suggests that the winner did not represent “actual” American values, or her American values were not as “American” as Miss Kansas’ American values.
However, the majority congratulated Miss America with positive and uplifting messages that bashed racist tweets. A majority who stood up with Miss America included Stephanie Weyrauch at the Washington State University at St. Louis tweeted-
Congrats to Miss NY on becoming Miss America! Good to see diversity on the stage and representing this great nation! #MissAmerica
We all can have different perceptions on beauty and not all of us are followers of beauty pageants. But we should be grateful to those who stood up with Miss America in this contest. Her victory is significant and we need continue the healthy conversation of what defines American values and what defines beauty and diversity.
Samantha is a senior majoring in Journalism
What are your views on Miss America’s victory? Join the conversation on Twitter. #MissAmerica. Follow NDSU Spectrum on Twitter @NDSUSpectrum