The first winner of the Miss America pageant from an Indian background has brushed off a barrage of racist messages posted on social networks.
Nina Davuluri, 24, described her delight at winning the the contest saying she was "so happy this organization has embraced diversity."
Just minutes after the result, however, racist comments began to appear on social networking sites.
Miss Davuluri had been embroiled in controversy after being accused of saying her predecessor Mallory Hagan was ‘fat as s***’.
Despite the row, Miss Davuluri, whose $50,000 prize money will help fund her stated ambition of attending medical school, went on to beat Miss California, Crystal Lee and the other top 5 finalists, Miss Minnesota, Rebecca Yeh; Miss Florida, Myrrhanda Jones, and Miss Oklahoma, Kelsey Griswold.
Immediately after her victory a stream of racist abuse began to appear on Twitter.
One Twitter user wrote: 'This is Miss America... Not Miss Foreign Country.'
Another opined: 'Shes (sic) like not even american and she won miss america.'
They later deleted the comment from her profile.
One commenter wrote the message '9/11 was 4 days ago and she gets miss America?' and another added: 'I am literarily soo mad right now a ARAB won'.
"WHEN WILL A WHITE WOMAN WIN #MISSAMERICA? Ever??!!" asked another.
Miss Davuluri brushed aside the comments today saying: "I have to rise above that," she said. "I always viewed myself as first and foremost American."
Her grandmother told The Associated Press that she cried when she saw the news on television.
"I am very, very, happy for the girl. It was her dream and it was fulfilled," 89-year-old V. Koteshwaramma said by phone from her home in the city of Vijaywada, in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
She said there are numerous doctors in the family, both in the US and India, and that if her granddaughter wants to become one "I am sure she will do it."
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies