Page 3 Profile: Nina Davuluri, Beauty Queen


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The Independent Online

America! America! / God shed His grace on thee…

Yes, another year, another winner of the world’s greatest, uh, ‘scholarship pageant’. The 24-year-old Indian-American from Syracuse, New York, beat 52 contestants in rounds of question answering, bikini wearing and displays of talent – in which she performed a Bollywood fusion dance – to be crowned Miss America. Sadly, comments about her ethnicity have cast something of a shadow over her victory…

Let me guess… Twitter-twits?

Yup. Shortly after she was announced winner on Sunday – beating Chinese-American runner-up Miss California Crystal Lee - Twitter lit up with unsavoury remarks about the born-and-bred American passport holder, who is neither an Arab nor has anything to do with terrorist organisations. One user wrote: ‘This is Miss America... Not Miss Foreign Country.’ Another opined: ‘9/11 was 4 days ago and she gets miss America?’ and another: ‘I am literarily soo mad right now a ARAB won’.

How’s she taken it?

With surprising good grace. Upon winning, she said she was “so happy this organisation has embraced diversity,” and later dismissed the Twitter remarks, saying: “I have to rise above that. I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

So how will she spend the winnings?

The $50,000 prize money will help pay her way through medical school. You see, she already has a degree in Brain Behavior and Cognitive Science from the University of Michigan, where she was showered with academic awards.

She sounds more like  Miss Perfect than  Miss America.

Well, there is one thing. Davuluri found herself in hot water over accusations that she said her predecessor Mallory Hagan was ‘fat as s***’. But hey, let’s not let that ruin the moment. America! America! / God shed His grace on thee…