This week on Finding Your Bliss, Life Coach and Bliss Expert Judy Librach is joined by activist, actor, entrepreneur, filmmaker, and Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri!
Nina’s most recent venture combines the network she has cultivated, her love for advocacy, and disrupting global beauty standards by producing the documentary, #COMPLEXion, which was released on Amazon this February 2023 (it’s excellent, by the way!). As a global leader in redefining beauty standards, she spearheaded a campaign against colourism, #SeeMyComplexion. This led to her being invited by the CEO of L’Oreal to join the L’Oreal Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board, which she currently serves on. Since then, she went to Harvard Business School to study the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports. Nina truly believes entertainment and media are the most impactful mediums to create lasting change.
To further her mission of dismantling beauty standards, Nina gave a viral TED Talk, The Cost of Beauty From A Miss America, fighting against toxic beauty standards and the harmful effects social media has had on perpetuating these standards. Being 8 years removed from winning Miss America, Nina realized that there is a significant cost to beauty that is never discussed. As someone who was deeply entrenched in the beauty industry, she understands the unique voice she has to continue to lead this conversation and increase representation in mainstream media.
Nina is no novice to disrupting systems and creating change; she first gained international recognition by becoming the first Indian American and South Asian to become Miss America 2014. Her work in activism became apparent when she was first recognized by President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. She was invited to collaborate with the First Lady on her campaign, “Let’s Move, Let’s Read” and “Let Girls Learn”. She then went on to help launch “Act to Change,” an anti-bullying campaign led by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI). Nina was also invited to be a speaker at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya and was honoured to be the youngest speaker on the main stage sharing her experiences as a trailblazer in the field of diversity. She then embarked on a fourteen-day tour in India that was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, promoting education, women’s empowerment, and diversity. Nina was incredibly proud to return to her homeland of India and focus on key issues between both countries.
The tour culminated in an invitation from President Obama to a reception held at the White House.
She has also worked with top technology companies such as Google, NASA, Dell, and Texas Instruments in addition to the Sacramento Kings Foundation to further their women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiatives.
Over the past 10 years, Nina has travelled around the world to address an array of audiences on her platform: “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency.” Nina is proud to have spoken at 50 different universities including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, Cambridge University (UK), and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in both Bombay and Hyderabad. Nina has also taken her platform internationally, speaking in the United Kingdom, Philippines, Kenya, and India.
She has been featured on Anderson Cooper 360, CNN’s Outfront with Erin Burnett, LIVE! with Kelly and Micheal, Fox and Friends, The View, MSNBC, CBS Morning Show, NPR, BBC World, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Canada’s Breakfast Television, and The Morning Show, among many other local media outlets both national and international. Most recently, Nina was featured in the New York Times for the advocacy work she’s done around colourism.
Nina is humbled by her experiences and excited to continue her journey in the filmmaking, advocacy, and entertainment arenas. In her spare time, Nina enjoys walks in the West Village with her rescue pup, Dobby, and moonlighting as #SousChefNina experimenting, creating, and tasting fusion recipes!
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