Congratulations to Nina Davuluri, who won Miss America last night! This is the second year that Miss New York has been crowned Miss America, and Davuluri is the first woman of Indian descent to hold both titles. Unfortunately, her win was met with some backlash due to her heritage — but the 24-year-old isn’t letting that get her down. Davuluri, who is a native of Fayetteville, N.Y., and a graduate of the University of Michigan, chose her pageant platform on celebrating diversity through cultural competency. “Miss America has always been the girl next door,” she said. “But Miss America is evolving, and she’s not going to look the same anymore.” We’re already in love with her sense of humor and down to earth personality — and let’s not forget about that megawatt smile and gorgeous hair. As she gears up to reign as Miss America, we put together a list of three reasons why we think she’s awesome. Read on for the full list!
SHE’S STUDYING TO BE A PHYSICIAN
Beauty and brains, ladies and gentlemen. Davuluri graduated in 2012 with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science from the University of Michigan. And her desire to do good doesn’t end there: her first official act as Miss America is happening today, where she’ll head to Seaside Heights, N.J. to see the damage done by Hurricane Sandy and the recent boardwalk fire. Davuluri’s desire to work in the medical field follows in the footsteps of her parents, who are both doctors.
SHE’S TRAINED IN BOLLYWOOD FUSION DANCING
As evidenced by her major dancing skills in last night’s talent portion, Davuluri is a pro at Bollywood-style dance. She has studied Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancing while in her family’s hometown of Vijayawada, India. While preparing for the Miss America pageant, Davuluri trained under Nakul Dev Mahajan, who is a choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance? and has worked on The Office and The Flip Side.
SHE’S A SCI-FI NERD
There’s nothing we love more than a girl who indulges in her nerdy side, and doesn’t apologize for it! “I’m kind of a nerd,” Davuluri admits. “I love Star Wars, Star Trek, and anything sci-fi!” Seriously, could she be more relateable?
Congratulations again, Nina — the win was so well-deserved!
Plus, see more of our favorite lovely ladies in tiaras.