When Kira Kazantsev was crowned the new Miss America on Sunday night, a feeling of déjá vu set in.
Not only was she white — like all but nine of the 94 winners before her — she also fit snugly into a narrowly defined standard of Western female attractiveness: early 20s, long flowing hair and a thin, painstakingly tanned physique that would not seem out of place in a Victoria’s Secret catalog.
In many ways, the Miss Indian World pageant’s definition of what American beauty truly entails is the ideological antithesis to Miss America. Indeed, since 1984, this five-day competition based in Albuquerque, N.M., has honored Native American woman for their contributions to their communities, not their bikini bodies. The top award is given to the contestant who “best represents her culture,” according to Al Jazeera.
So my best friend was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer and needs surgery ASAP. The only problem is they won’t let her schedule it unless she meets the deductible. Please share this with anyone you know. Put it in your queue multiple times. And most of all, donate if you can. The one person who stuck with me through the entirety of my transition and who bakes me delicious goods on a regular basis now needs my help.
Actress and singer Patti Boulaye and her daughter, Aret.
Boulaye appeared in many West End shows such as Hair and The Black Milkado. She also had a successful recording career. Aret went on to win Miss Nigeria in 1995 and has recently appeared on the British television show, The Voice.