Nina Davuluri, 24, had this to say after winning the Miss America pageant held in Atlantic City on September 15, 2013: "I'm so happy this organization has embraced diversity. I'm thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America."
This sentiment was not shared by all Americans. "When her win was announced, Twitter immediately exploded with hateful tweets," says Buzzfeed. This is America, said those outraged by her win:
Ms Davaluri, whose pageant platform was "celebrating diversity through cultural competency" and whose talent routine was a Bollywood dance performance, brushed aside the online racism, saying "I have to rise above that," she said. "I always viewed myself as first and foremost American."
The native of Syracuse, New York wants to be a doctor, and is applying to medical school, with the help of a $50,000 scholarship she won as part of the pageant title.
She is the second consecutive Miss New York to win the Miss America crown, succeeding Mallory Hagan.
After the traditional frolic in the Atlantic City surf Monday morning, she will head to the scene of a devastating boardwalk fire in the New Jersey communities of Seaside park and Seaside Heights Monday afternoon.
Her first runner-up was Miss California, Crystal Lee. Other top 5 finalists included Miss Minnesota, Rebecca Yeh; Miss Florida, Myrrhanda Jones, and Miss Oklahoma, Kelsey Griswold.