Somewhere deep within the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, 89 year old Vege Koteshwaramma cried tears of joy in the early hours of Monday 16th September. Her granddaughter had just become the first Indian woman to win Miss.America 2014 back in New Jersey, USA where it was still a glittering Sunday night. 24 year old Nina Davuluri had just earned the American dream.
As part of her Miss.America win, she also won a $50,000 scholarship which she no doubt will use to fund her dream of becoming a doctor. A dream that she essentially has in the bag. I mean she won Miss.America hasn't she? She can do anything. A glowing example that anyone can reach their goals if they tried hard enough. As for the international stories regarding the outcry of racists remarks via social media, let me just say- American born South Asians can be your doctors, your teachers, make waves in US politics and grace the pages of Forbes Richest- but they're still not good enough to be your Miss.America? Ridiculous. Social media has uncovered a whole host of stereotypes and prejudices that many claim to be just hear-say, but in a particular manner we should thanks social media for unveiling these viewpoints. We can now address the problem and educate- because some of those ignorant uneducated comments- WOW REALLY??! Maybe we need to enforce more Geography lessons at school or something?
Nina, herself has decided to rise above the hurtful remarks and has applauded the Miss.America organisation for celebrating cultural diversity. She is an incredible role model for not only Indian girls, but Pakistani girls like myself- plus other girls of South Asian decent, in fact any girl who is not considered a blonde hair blue eyed girl next door. I entered the British qualifier to Miss.Universe over a year ago and considered my experience to be to premature. I was swamped with gorgeous girls who I thought people would like to see as a winner over me any day- tall, gorgeous, skinny. However, now I think maybe a size 12, 5'5 Pakistani British has potential to be celebrated on an international platform. Nina Davuluri has given me that hope. Anything is possible. Plus can I just re-iterate- how much of a local celebrity will Nina's grandmother be in her little town?! Who would have thought?