WHO: Nina Davuluri
WHAT: Miss America 2014
WHERE: Syracuse, NY
What compelled you to compete for the title of Miss America?
The scholarship was part of it, but I had a goal to become the first Indian-American Miss America. I’ve always viewed Miss America as the girl next door, and it was important to me to show the girl next door is evolving as diversity in America evolves. My hopes is that now little girls and young women will now say I can be accepted and achieve anything by being myself and believing in myself.
You made history by becoming the first Indian America to win the title of Miss America. What has the response been from your community?
I’m actually overwhelmed by not only the outpouring of love and support I received from Indian-Americans but from everyone all over the world. For every negative feed, tweet or post, I received thousands positive remarks. Students from Duke University even made a video “Stand with Nina”. It’s just been amazing, and I truly appreciate the support.
Were you surprised by the twitter backlash after you won Miss America?
No, unfortunately I received some backlash (on a smaller scale) when I won Miss New York, so I was prepared for it.
What will your year of service entail?
I am the National Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, advocate for STEM, go around the country speaking on my personal platform “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency”, I’ll be making various appearances throughout the year and of course representing our corporate sponsors: Joseph Ribkoff, R.E.I.G.N Beauty, Catalina Swimwear, and Pink and Pepper.
What has been the most exciting experience you’ve had as Miss America?
Everything has been an experience, but I’d have to say Children’s Miracle Network Celebration. I spent a week with 50 plus CMNH Champions, who are children who are dealing or dealt with severe illnesses or injuries, we split the week between Disney World and Washington DC.
One of the highlights of the week was visiting the White House and meeting President Obama. The spirit of these kids just touched me, I really cant put into words how they effected me. Their strength and resilience was just amazing to witness. There really are Champions!
It was exactly 30 years ago that Vanessa Williams was crowned Miss America.
What advice did she have for you?
She told me to continue to be myself, offered me support and that I could reach out to her . I was touched by kindness and generosity. She is a great lady.
As Miss America, you travel over 20, 000 miles every month. What are your travel essentials?
Joseph Ribkoff essential wardrobe, they are so travel friendly – no ironing necessary! Also R.E.I.GN makeup remover, journal and my iPhone.
As your wardrobe sponsor, Joseph Ribkoff provides you with outfits for your appearances. What has been your favourite look you’ve worn?
They are all great! A couple of favourites are dresses are styles #40456 and #40404. I love anything with the Mad Men era vibe/style.
You’ve been traveling across Canada the last few weeks on behalf of Joseph Ribkoff. What has been your favourite place you’ve visited?
During my Canadian tour I visited four cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal. Honestly I liked them all equally.
Many young women are looking to you as their inspiration. Who inspires you?
My sister, my mother and my grand mother.
What advice do you have for those young women?
Be yourself and believe in yourself.
I don’t really have one, but I’m a big Star Trek and Harry Potter fan
Coffee with soy milk, two sugar substitutes
BEAUTY MUST HAVES
Make up remover and lip gloss