Miss America Sees Twitter Backlash

by Raysha Sally

The 2014 Miss America pageant brought in over 10 million viewers in Sunday’s airing (according to a Miss America press release), but it wasn’t the buzz on the television that has everyone talking; it’s the blowup on social media that has everyone buzzing.

Meet Nina Davuluri

2014_Miss_America_Nina_Davuluri_dips_her_toe_in_the_surf_Shortly after Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, was crowned Miss America, Twitter blew up with hateful tweet regarding Davuluri’s ethnicity. Davuluri is the first Indian-American to win the crown. Some of the tweet captured by Buzzfeed read, “And the Arab wins Miss America. Classic”, “Asian or indian are you kiddin this is america omg”, “9/11 was 4 days ago and she gets miss America?”, and “Miss America right now or miss Al Qaeda?”

Obviously not all American’s feel this way, since the crowning there has been a large out-pour for Miss Davuluri. An article from Munmun Khan reads, “The people of the United States of America have finally overcome racial prejudice, we finally see women of color as beautiful, and we value brains as well as beauty. We have a person of whose family immigrated to the U.S. just 30 years ago win one of the most coveted crowns and a $50,000 scholarship. YES!”

The rise of social media has changed the morale of the Miss America competition, many of us saw this tv buzz article posted all over the Internet about Miss Kansas, Teresa Vail being the first contestant to bare tattoos in the competition. Vail was also only the second woman from the United State Army to compete in the pageants 92 year history. Vail was crowned ABC’S America’s Choice contestant, an online competition where the public was able to vote for their favorite contestant in the 2014 competition.

BUP2tyRCYAAwvbcWhat about Miss Kansas?

While Twitter users were expressing negative thoughts toward Miss New York Sunday night, they were expressing support for what they called “The Real Miss America, Miss Kansas”. The four panel picture you see of Vail was one of the most shared pictures the night of the competition.

As an aspiring public relations professional, social media continues to amaze me. There are so many different outlets, and different uses for social media, but everyone utilizes their site for differently. The 92-year-old competition has now adopted a viewers choice award to include their audience. They also encouraged the use of the #MissAmerica hashtag, though very successful, I don’t believe they expected the negative backlash it received.

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(Photo via Buzzfeed)


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