Shifting Beauty Perceptions – Nina Davuluri is First Indian to be Crowned Miss America


In a landmark victory, 24 year old Ms Nina Davuluri, Miss New York became the first contestant of Indian descent to win the Miss America Pageant hours ago. Unfortunately, not everyone was thrilled. Twitter exploded with hateful tweets, some calling her “Arab” while others exclaiming that and Indian should not win an American beauty pageant.

Supporters or haters aside, Ms Davuluri’s win is proof that how the world views beauty is changing. For the longest time, Caucasian features were considered to the gold standard of beauty, but more and more, Asian features are desired too.

East vs West

The concept of beauty is actually deeply ingrained in our subconsciousness. There are certain facial features, certain proportions which we will always perceive as being beautiful, such as large eyes with double eye-lids, a projected nose with good bridge height, a V-Shaped face etc.

Caucasians are blessed with many of these features, and it is no wonder that we often look to our Western counterparts as the gold standard of beauty.

Asians are not so lucky. Darker skin makes us look dull, our noses (especailly South Asians) are large, round and flat, our faces are less projected, and typically, we do not have double eye lids. But there are features in Asians which are considered beautiful- better skin texture, which is more resistant to ageing, thicker, fuller lips, and more delicate face shapes, for example.

Beauty is an ever changing concept, and as we say – the grass is always greener on the other side. Many beautiful Caucasian woman I know envy the skin of their Chinese friends, while many Chinese women dream of having high, aquiline noses.

The Pan-Asian Look : Best of Both Worlds

There is a reason why Eurasian men and women are often so gorgeous – they have the best of both worlds. This is often called the Pan-Asian look. But if we look around the world for a race which best embodies the beautiful features of the East and West, it is the Indian race, in my humble opinion.

Indian men and women often have beautiful eyes, noses, lips, face shapes. And they age remarkable well, never plagued by the deep wrinkles which our Caucasian friends complain about.

Julie Chen, transforming herself towards a Pan-Asian look

CBS newscaster, 43yr old Julie Chen, recently revealed that earlier in her career, she was told that she will never go far, due to her Chinese looks – she was told to get double eye lid surgery done, and after she did, the balling started rolling for her, in her own words.

If you look at her before-afters, there is no denying that she looks much better now. If you analyse why, you will realise that she now looks more Pan-Asian – larger eyes, narrower, more projected nose, higher cheeks (Of course, the better makeup and hair make a whole lot of difference). Interestingly, note her now darker skin colour, which blurs the lines between races even more, making her look even more beautiful.

With Filler facial feature augmentation, we are also trying to achieve that – a more Pan-Asian look, which is generally perceived as being more beautiful.

Haters of Nina Davuluri should sit back, cast race aside, and admire her beauty. For she is, indeed, beautiful. Catch this gorgeous young lady at the emotional moment when she is crowned Miss America 2014: