By Abhishek Seth on
As Miss World 2000, how did you feel when Americans jeered at South-Asian Nina Davuluri for being an “Arab terrorist,” when she was crowned Miss America?
It’s awful. It’s beyond horrific for me—she was raised and brought up in America. She is an American.
I understand where some people could be coming from — Nina is not that quintessential White American girl. But, that’s not what America is anymore. It’s so many different cultures. So many different people.
I think it is victory for Nina, and so many other people, and so many other ethnicities, who are raised and brought up in America: to see a little part of themselves on stage.
It’s great the achievement Nina has had, and I wish her so much success.
How important is dinnertime with the family?
I never get time — I try and make as much time with the family as I can.
Dinnertime is very, very important. It roots you. It grounds you. It gives you a feeling that you know there is someone you can fall back on.
Tell me about your self-initiated It’s cool to repeat [clothes] campaign on Twitter.
Everybody’s flawed in some way or another. Nobody can be perfect. And everybody will have an opinion about you differently.
First and foremost, you need to accept the fact that you are flawed. And that’s what makes your beautiful.
It’s cool to be yourself. Be whatever you want to be. The important thing about how to do that is to not care about what people think — it’s the hardest thing to do.
We live in a society where every one will judge you. And every one has an opinion about you. But, accept yourself — it took me years to be able to do that. I had peer pressure.
Accept who you are. It takes experience. It takes acceptance.
It shouldn’t make you hardened — “I don’t care what people say.” I mean, it’s important to care. (You live in a society where no man is an island.) But, it shouldn’t change what you are intrinsically.
If you could tell all the youth of the world one thing, what would it be?
There are so many people telling you what’s cool and what’s not. There are so many people telling you what’s right, and if you speak like this, if wear this, if you like this, if you listen to this type of music, you’re cooler.
But, we need to reach a point where we sit back — by ourselves — and say, “You know what? So, what if people don’t like blah-blah-blah musician? I do!” And it’s fine.
Our choices should not define what we are, or what we are capable of being. We need to start saying that: “It’s my choice for now. I can change it tomorrow. It’s cool to be me.”
People just need to stop being embarrassed about whoever, whatever they are.
LookToTheStars.org thanks Priyanka for taking the time to talk to us.
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