09/16/2013 03:37 pm ET Updated Nov 16, 2013

Miss America, Warrior Against Racism?


Last night's Miss America pageant came down to two Asian-American contenders: Chinese-American Miss California, Crystal Lee, and Indian-American Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, who calls herself "Miss Diversity" and performed a Bollywood-style dance routine during the talent round. When Davuluri won, she became the pageant's first Indian-American winner. Not bad for a contest that started as a beauty competition for women "of the white race."

Most notable, she did it without whitewashing herself. When Davuluri chose an Indian dance routine, "they told her she'd never win -- too foreign," her personal trainer has said. During the question-and-answer round, Davuluri fielded a question about Julie Chen's confession to surgically altering her formerly Chinese-looking eyes.

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