|Is She Too Dark To Become Miss America?|
It has been a week now since I last blogged. Today has been a fantastic day so far. I made it to the third round of interview after being interviewed by the director of GreenEnergy Worldwide for Malaysia. It feels good because I think it gives me a chance to be in an industry providing green energy solutions and eventually breaking the dependency on fossil fuel. I have also received a surprise e-mail today so it has been a great day so far and I\’m thankful for that.
So getting back to the post today, I\’m sure many of you are well-informed about the winner of Miss America 2013. Nina Davuluri was crowned as Miss America and she is the first Miss America from Indian descent. She is also the Miss New York 2013. America being one of the world\’s largest melting pot where people of different races and cultures embrace America as their home today took the world by surprise when some people made racist remarks on Twitter following her victory. What really amuses me is the fact that people have been calling her a Muslim and linking her with Al-Qaeda. Some people made themselves clowns by saying that she should have been chosen as Miss Africa. I think they must have missed their Geography lessons back in school, poor kids!
This social backlash reminded me about the popular TV show, Celebrity Big Brother where we had a participant, the late Jade Goody with two others bullying the well-known actress in India, Shilpa Shetty for being an Indian. I think, generally when you cross your own border, you are a refugee and you just don\’t belong to where you are fully because people do not welcome \’\’foreigners\’\’ wholeheartedly.
Is it a crime being born with a dark complexion? What it really takes for a woman to become Miss America? Being blonde and white? I don\’t understand how people could choose Obama as their president and still be prejudicial. I am not referring to those who voted for Obama and choose to side Nina. I\’m sure at least one out of those people who attacked Nina WOULD HAVE voted for Obama but when it comes an American Indian winning the pageant, they can\’t take it. I\’m keen to know the probability of those people voting for a man different in race and heritage as their president. I think people react differently when it comes people who are successful and people who are about to unleash their talent. Before you actually achieve something solid and widely accepted, people would judge you based on colour, background and etc and discourage you every way they could. I don\’t understand how they could welcome Indians to come and work for Bill Gates but still deny their rights to contest in a beauty pageant. Those who made the ugly comments certainly forgot the fact that their place of birth is a colourful land with people from different roots contributing to its success today. In most countries today, majority of the citizens are not the native people. My ancestors were from India and they were brought to Malaysia during the British occupation. Our real native people are the Orang Asli which literally means \”the native people\” and America is no exception too.
As an approved contributor for Global Voices, (I haven\’t contributed anything YET, and I have posts up there as drafts because I thought it will be good to observe what others post and how to protect myself if someone from my \’\’awesome\’\’ government were to read my posts and accuse me of being a \’\’threat\’\’ to the national harmony and security. Malaysia is getting funnier day by day so it is good to know how to save my ass before doing something) I observed a post from an Indian citizen and I thought she has pointed out great issues and Tweets from other netizens.
I think Americans are way better because we will not see Nina Davuluri being crowned in the pageant if the organizers or judges were racists. It is just a part of the society that has a problem seeing an American-Indian winning the competition, may be because their favourite contestants lose the game! I think the issue is less severe in America than it is in India.
While reading the post from Global Voices, I realised that if Nina\’s parents chose to stay in India and raise their kids in India, Nina\’s chances of being crowned would have been a dream still. You can see the comments in the snapshot below and I feel it is true because we Indians(referring to the race) do not embrace our own people as we worship fair-skinned ladies and men more.
At least, Nina prides herself in becoming Miss New York and Miss America but what do we see in the Indian film industry today? Actress Nandita Das is a dark-skinned, beautiful young lady and I have always admired her so much. Her message for this year\’s Women\’s Day is \”Stay UNfair, Stay Beautiful\”. She and her career has been affected due to her dark complexion and she campaigns for the movement called Dark Is Beautiful. You can read about her further at her blog (and let me know if you think she is beautiful ;))
We all have our own issues to deal with and raising awareness is not just about me blogging about this and you reading but also about correcting the way people think and behave around you and making a change. Do your part in educating the society. By writing this, I will never be able to reach out to those who made insulting comments about Nina but if we continue to pass the message around, hopefully we can see gradual changes.
Good night world!