Indian Miss America Wouldn't Have Won Beauty Pageants in South Asia, Indian Writers Note

Too dark skinned


Last night, Nina Davuluri from Syracuse, Ny, became the first Indian-American Miss America. She took a calculated risk — pitching herself as the "diverse" contestant, and dancing to a Bollywood song in the talent segment even though contest insidersreportedly warned her the performance would be "too foreign."

The risk paid off. While the usual suspects took to Twitter to wail about Davuluri's win, most tweets were peppered in happy exclamation marks.

But there was an unfortunate irony to the win, noted mostly by Indian and Indian-American writers. Davuluri is dark-skinned. In India, where skin color is a national obsession, you likely wouldn't see someone of her complexion in a pageant, much less winning one.