My thoughts on “Why We Need An Indian Miss America”

Interesting article.

The 5 main points:

1.) Her victory forces America to examine what it means to be American.
2.) She challenges what it means to be Indian American.
3.) She’s a great role model for young girls in America. 
4.) Davuluri challenges international standards of beauty.
5.) Plus, any woman who wants to dedicate time promoting STEM among young women, is a visionary, Indian American or not.

As an Indian-American, I think 2-5 are all pretty darn true.

2 because there are few positive portrayals IIRC of Indian-Americans in American pop culture (when I say positive, I mean beyond just a joke character like Raj in BBT or most things Aziz Ansari does [although that man is awesome]).

3 is true: she’s pretty darn intelligent and intends to continue her academic career, she handled herself gracefully after the Twitter detractors, and she’s been pretty vocal about women’s body image issues (in a good way).

4 is also very true: if you don’t know, in India (and much of Asia too IIRC), there’s a big push for having lighter skin. If you have dark skin in India and especially if you’re a woman, it’s viewed as lower class/caste and unattractive. There’s huge amounts of money in skin lightening products and this is reflected by the large amounts of white-washing in Indian films (not just actor-actress choices, but the actual portrayals of actors and actresses) and the shitload of ads for “Fair and Lovely” and other skin-lightening products. Davuluri is not light-skinned by Indian standards (or really any standard?) yet winning this pageant is a big deal, and hopefully will start to help change the trend (in India) of “DARK SKIN BAD YOU’RE UNDESIRABLE AND NOBODY GOOD WILL MARRY YOU” (that is not an exaggeration).

5 ties into 3 pretty much. Dunno if I’d say visionary (that tends to be a strong word), but she’s pretty friggin’ awesome.


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