The coronation of Nina Davuluri as Miss America 2014 has set the Internet ablaze with commentary.Some people are lauding the Indian-American’s beauty, others are not mincing their derision, questioning why the crown would be awarded to a “Miss 7-11,” someone who doesn’t look like a “real” Miss America.My Facebook page, though, is filled with posts from jubilating fellow Indians, here and in India, thrilled that one of us has been acknowledged for her beauty. Yet as I share their happiness and pride, I can’t help but wonder: Would Miss Davuluri ever have won the title of Miss India?As an Indian woman, I’ll admit to being a victim of the general malaise we have with our skin color. I was raised in the west by a mother who assuaged my childhood discomfort at being a lone brown girl in a sea of white by telling me that when those girls grew up, they would want to be just like me and would spend hours sitting out in the sun to get the skin color that I had naturally (that’s true).MORE: How Beauty Queens Stay Camera ReadyAnd yet at the same time, it was ingrained in me somewhere, as it is in many Indians, that fair, not dark, is what constitutes beauty. Indeed, I spent countless nights as a child hoping I would wake up the next day and be white.Rare is the Indian woman who will describe her complexion as brown (“wheatish” is the adjective of choice), and though most of us are brown, and our beauty has been admired in many parts of the world, it seems that fairness remains the number one criteria for judging beauty worth in India (In my mother’s time, the fairer you were the better you’d marry).Most Indian women are careful not to wear colors that enhance their brownness. We never expose ourselves to the sun and for years, skin lightening creams were by far the highest grossing products on the Indian beauty market. Worse, they’re promoted by celebrities and Bollywood movie stars.