Tellwut Online Survey Finds that 76% do Not Believe That Miss America Winners Should Only be Caucasian
Nina Davuluri changed history when she became the first woman of Indian heritage to hold the title of Miss America. Although this was a momentous achievement for Davuluri and for those who celebrate diversity, others took to the virtual web and social media outlets to express their dismay that a woman of Indian heritage could hold the title of Miss America, which they viewed as being exclusive to Caucasian women. As Davuluri’s Miss America win began to generate various opinions amongst individuals online and off, Tellwut Online Survey Corp decided to create a survey in order to find out panel members attitudes and opinions regarding this situation. When asked whether panel members felt that Miss America winners should only be crowned if they are Caucasian, survey results found that only 7% of panel members held this view, while the majority 86% of panel members did not think that Miss America winners are exclusive to Caucasian women. The remaining 7% of voters were undecided regarding this topic. To further emphasize the view that Miss America can be inclusive to all races and ethnicities panel member mnew stated: “There are simply stunningly beautiful and intelligent women of all ethnicities. To limit ‘winners’ to just one racial group or ethnicity would be both racist and ignorant.” Although it is apparent that many people are outraged over Davuluri being named Miss America, Tellwut wanted to know whether panel members think that her new title reflects society’s attitude, that the ‘ideal’ standards of beauty are beginning to change. According to the results 45% of voters think that society’s opinions regarding beauty have changed. In contrast, 33% of voters do not think that Davuluri’s win is indicative of society’s opinions regarding beauty to be changing and 22% of panel members have remained undecided. Despite some of the negative responses garnered, many people nonetheless think Davuluri’s Miss America win has broken barriers for other women of color who will participate in beauty pageants in the future. This is further highlighted in the results generated by tellwut that indicates that 58% of panel members view Davuluri’s title win as a breakthrough for women of color, while 18% of voters do not think that Davuluri’s title win has broken any barriers that exist in pageants for women of color. The remaining 24% of voters were undecided about the topic. Overall, although surveys results indicate that voters do not think that Miss America winners are exclusive to caucasian women, the backlash against Nina Davuluri shortly after she won Miss America highlights that there is still quite a way to go until beauty standards change and diversity becomes observed as beautiful in the eyes of others.