Miss America 2014
WHO: NINA DAVULURI
WHERE: A native and resident of Syracuse, New York, she received a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science from the University of Michigan, where she was on the dean’s list and won several academic awards. Her father is a gynecologist and her mother a software engineer.
WHY: Became Miss America 2014. The first Indian-American to win a Miss America title, she was Miss New York 2013, Miss Syracuse 2013, and the runner-up for Miss Teen America 2006. She is now a spokesperson for STEM. A Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer, she worked with a notable Bollywood choreographer to prepare for her fusion performance at the contest. Also this year, a Chinese-American (Crystal Lee) was the runner-up for the Miss America title.
WHAT: A stream of racist, often ignorant comments appeared on social media after she was crowned Miss America 2014. But the many supportive comments that followed praised and congratulated her, rejecting the hatred on display.
WORTHY QUOTE: “It’s a difficult situation, and
that was something I experienced even as Miss
New York. That being said, for every one negative
tweet or comment that I have seen or received, I
have received dozens of positive words of encouragement,
support, and love.”
—Nina Davuluri on “Tell Me More” (NPR)
WHAT ELSE: “Dance routines aside, even a
Miss America crown won’t propel Davuluri to a celluloid
screen near us—not unless she makes the
miraculous color ‘adjustment’ achieved by leading
Bollywood actresses who have successfully paled
—Lakshmi Chaudhry (Firstpost.com)
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