Houston: Twenty-four-year-old Nina Davuluritoday became the first contestant of Indian heritage to winthe Miss America pageant.
Nina, who aspires to become a physician like herfather, will earn at least USD 50,000 in scholarships.
Davuluri's parents and sister, along with more than 30other supporters, watched her compete in the live ABCtelevision broadcast from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Davuluri, in a canary-yellow evening gown, walked therunway after being named Miss America, waving and brushingaway tears of joy.
Contestants were judged on evening gowns,lifestyle/fitness, talent, a personal interview and anon-stage question.
Davuluri was asked about the wisdom of TV anchor gettingplastic surgery on her eyes to alter her appearance.
Davuluri said she's against plastic surgery, but saidpeople should make their own choice but be confident in theirappearances.
She showcased a classical Bollywood fusion dance piece asher talent.
Soon after being named Miss New York, Davuluri flew toLos Angeles to work with Nakul Dev Mahajan, a choreographerwith the So You Think You Can Dance television show.
She also had formal training in Indian dance for the past15 years, including summers in India.
Her message is "celebrating diversity through culturalcompetency," and Davuluri has said she's had to dispel a lotof misconceptions about her culture through the year, such aswhether her parents will arrange a marriage for her.
Davuluri, who struggled with bulimia and weight problem,said she lost 60 pounds prior to becoming Miss New York.
Davuluri was born in Syracuse, but moved to Oklahoma atage four then to Michigan at 10.
Six years ago, her family moved to Fayetteville, whereher dad is an obstetrician/gynaecologist affiliated with StJoseph's Hospital.
Davuluri's degree from the University of Michigan is inbrain behaviour and cognitive science.
She plans to become a physician and says she would loveto attend Upstate Medical University.
She says she's a 'Type A personality', and makes it apriority to stay organised every minute.