US wakes up to a Miss America of Indian descent


Miss New York Nina Davuluri poses for photographers following her crowning as Miss America 2014, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. AP

NEW YORK CITY — For the first time America’s top beauty queen is a woman of Indian origin, and she is playing down racist tweets that say she looks like an Arab terrorist.

The new Miss America is Nina Davuluri, a 24-year-old from the state of New York who wants to be a doctor.

She called her crowning Sunday night at the Atlantic City pageant in which she performed a traditional Bollywood dance a victory for diversity in America.

“It was the first time Bollywood has been performed on the Miss America stage. It’s an honor for myself and my community,” Davuluri told ABC television Monday morning.

“Halfway through, I just started crying because you know, it was such an incredible experience being on that Miss America stage,” she said. “It was so meaningful and powerful.”

Davuluri is beaming despite a spurt of racist tweets about her. She downplayed them, however.

“I have to rise above that,” she said at a news conference Sunday night after being crowned. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

Many described the beauty queen, who is believed to be a practicing Hindu, as an Arab who looks like a terrorist.

A user with the handle @emi_adkins said “It’s called Miss America. Get outta here New York you look like a terrorist. #bye #americanforamerica.”

Lue Brasili exclaimed “9/11 was 4 days ago and she gets miss America,” while user Karl Sharro said “Al-Qaeda influenced the liberal judges.”

Others, like the Jezebel feminist blog, denounced the comments, saying “racists are being racist because Miss America isn’t white.”

“This world is so ignorant. #MissAmerica Indian or not had every right to gain the title of MissAmerica. This is why I want to leave America!” chimed in @CJlovebug.

Davuluri competed on the platform issue of “celebrating diversity through cultural competency.”

“I’m so happy this organization has embraced diversity,” she said at the news conference. “I’m thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America.”

During her 2014 year of service as Miss America, she will travel extensively to speak to audiences about her chosen issue.

The University of Michigan honor student will also serve as the official national goodwill ambassador for the children’s charity group Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Along with her much-prized title, Davuluri won a $50,000 scholarship to pursue her education.


Miss New York crowned 2014 Miss America

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • iriga1_city1_boy1

    Ignorance abounds!! Some have got to get out from their caves,meet people,read,educate ,learn.That’s how this world can get rid of hate,prejudice,wars,indifference and bigotry.We,homo sapiens,got more intelligence than other creatures.

  • juanlatigo_olbulatego

    strangely, its going to be a huge task for her to represent US & (india) both are having a backlash on their roles in world affairs, US- for being the military capital of the world, and for india for being the rape capital of the world.

  • kingkongbundy

    bola-bola ba o asado?

  • Makabayan_cebu

    Naku, ang ibang mga Kano, ka ignoramuses naman! DI MARUNONG LUMINGON SA KANILANG PINANGGALINGAN! Di NA nila na realize na all the white and black or other colored people in TATE, there including President Obama, ang kanilang mga ninuno ay mga MIGRANTS LANG (French, British, Irish and other europeans; black americans from Africa; Latinos, Asians)…So wala kayoing mga right na maging racist, including being angry to have a NEW MISS AMERICA WITH HINDU DESCENT! Ang dapat na mas may SAY sa inyo are the Red Native INDIANS (formally called FIRST NATIONS) because they’ve been in America centuries of years of existence and culture prior to the arrival of the first caucasians in the U.S. Tama, sa bawat bansa, di nawawalan ng mga TANGA–mga ignoramus, racists, supremacists!

  • Iggy Ramirez

    “celebrating diversity through cultural competency.”

    What the hell does that mean?

  • doncleo

    Debbye Turner,Miss America,1990; Ericka Dunlap,2004; Caress Cameron,2010..they are all African-Americans (meaning black)….Marjorie Judith Vincent,Miss America, 1991… she is of Haitian descent…last but not the least Marjorie Perez Baraquio, Miss America 2001, from Hawaii and first Asian-American from the Philippines to win such title..( source: Wikipedia) what’s the big deal?..there are just so many american morons and idiots who don’t know that America is a land of immigrants and that the real americans are the American Indians.. not the white but the redskins.

  • RedRose_13

    WTF!!! What do Americans think of the judges? BLIND? Just because she is of Indian ancestry she cannot be Miss America? WTF!! Fcuk all who criticize her as the Miss America, they are just jealous!!!

  • basilionisisa

    walang lasa pag ang beauty contest hinahaluan ng politics or political correctness… BEAUTY must be judged by its own merits.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos