The winner of 2013 Miss America was the second consectutive New Yorker to win but she is the first Indian-American to be crowned the beauty pageant winner.

Nina Davuluri was born in Syracuse, New York and the 24 year-old has admitted to preparing herself for a racial hate backlash if she was crowned Miss America.

On the 15th September in Atlantic City, Davuluri won the revered beauty pageant but it wasn’t celebrated for long as her parade was dampened by thousands of tweets targeting her racial heritage.

The New York stunner told NY Daily News “it was something I wasn’t surprised about,” adding “I’d experienced those same kind of remarks when I’d won Miss New York and I knew if I won Miss America it would happen again.”

Although many people were ready to defend the newly crowned winner, Nina appreciated the support of Vanessa Williams. Williams won the Miss Syracuse 30 years ago and in 1983 went on to win and become the first African-American Miss America.

“She had the similar response and backlash when she was crowned,” says Davuluri, who has met the former Miss America backstage at a fashion show, “The Trip to Bountiful.”

She further said “It just shows, in 30 years, yes, we’ve evolved, but how much further we have to go, because it’s a very similar conversation.”

Davuluri started participating in pageants to raise money for her to attend medical school, the Michigan University grad studied pre-med and is considering delving into cognitive psychiatry.

A pageant shouldn’t be a place of prejudice and hopefully Davuluri’s victory can lead to a more accepting America. Next year’s beauty pageant will be worth keeping an eye on, to see if any progress has actually been made.

Nina Delvuluri
Nina Davuluri expected a racial backlash from the public