Miss America Nina Davuluri made history on Sunday after she became the first winner of Indian heritage to win the crown.
Her family back in India and the whole nation was as ecstatic as the beauty queen was after she won the pageant, but America was certainly not happy. She sparked a flood of racist remarks on Twitter; was even seen trending on the micro-blogging website.
The new Miss America is somebody many “relate to”, as she said after being crowned. Here’s why. And a few other interesting facts you did not know about the Indian-American beauty queen.
- Nina’s origins can be traced back to Vijaywada, Andhra Prasesh. Her family immigrated from India 30 years ago.
She grew up in Fayetteville, New York just east of Syracus, where she still resides.
Her grandmother still lives in Vijaywada.
- Nina graduated in 2012 from the University of Michigan with a degree in brain behaviour and cognitive science.
She plans to apply to medical school and pursue a career as a physician.
- Nina has won $50,000 (about Rs.32 lakhs) scholarship as part of the pageant title. She will use the money to apply to medical school.
- Nina is a classically trained dancer. Her family regularly traveled to Vijayawada where she studied both Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dance.
- Nina’s Bollywood fusion dance routine for the beauty pageant was choreographed by the famous So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan
- Nina had a weight problem and suffered from bulimia. When she was anxious, she would eat excessively. She lost nearly 30 kilos to get back in shape.
She told the Syracuse Post-Standard that she struggled with bulimia and her own weight; even saying she hated the word “skinny.
- Ironically, Nina created quite a stir when she was caught on tape calling last year’s Miss America winner Mallory Hagan “fat as f ”
Hagan, was also a winner from New York, like Nina.
- Thirty years ago, actress and singer Vanessa Williams also a fellow former Miss Syracuse like Nina was crowned Miss America, reports The Aerogram.
Williams’ win was also historic, as she was the first African American Miss America.
- During the beauty pageant on Sunday Nina missed a cue, but still went on to win the crown.
- She distractedly applauded for herself when her name was called during the talent portion of the show, The Huffington Post reports.
“Next up for talent is Miss New York,” host Lara Spencer announced. Nina continued applauding, so another contestant hopped up and ran forward instead.
Spencer again declared, “Miss New York, you are up… Miss New York, you are up!”
- Nina is a huge fan of Star Trek, Star Wars and anything sci-fi.