Since being crowned Miss America in Atlantic City less than two months ago, Syracuse-born beauty Nina Davuluri (Miss New York) has been making headlines across the continent. As the first Indian American to ever win the nationally televised pageant, Davuluri has been receiving praise and support from around the globe, while battling some heated criticism from fellow Americans regarding the “controversy” surrounding her reign.
“All of the support has been great,” says Davuluri. “While prepping for the pageant, none of the contestants have access to their cell phones. The first time I heard about the reaction to my being crowned was at the press conference immediately after the show.”
Some of the reactions were great to see, and some were awful; people even went as far as calling me a terrorist,” Davuluri explains. “Others posted photos of traditional Indian women wearing head scarves, implying that I wasn’t American.
For those of you who missed the social media storm that took place during the traditional winner’s walk down center stage, commentary (tweets) ranged from an abundance of pride and joy, to whatever the digital equivalent of storming castle walls with torches and pitchforks would be.
“Some of the reactions were great to see, and some were awful; people even went as far as calling me a terrorist,” Davuluri explains. “Others posted photos of traditional Indian women wearing head scarves, implying that I wasn’t American.”
While winning the Miss America pageant generates a media whirlwind fit for Brangelina (yes, we really did just use that term), it also comes complete with a list of outstanding perks – including but not limited to a meeting with President Barack Obama, an extensive travel schedule, and a fully stocked wardrobe provided by Canadian designer Joseph Ribkoff. The yearlong position truly is a full-time job. Miss America will travel nearly 20,000 miles per month for the next twelve months, changing her location every 24-48 hours.
“The great thing about [Joseph Ribkoff] is that their clothing is extremely travel friendly; it’s easy to pack, and wrinkle-free when I pull it out of my suitcase,” Davuluri tells us.
And the best part about being Miss America?
“I’ve made some great friends. I used to wonder how girls competing in the pageant built such strong relationships over such a short period of time (two weeks),” Davuluri says.
“But when you have no access to your cell phone or your computer, and the other contestants are the only people you see every day…it’s easy.” *