A Welsh school girl has been crowned ‘America’s Perfect Teen’ while on holiday with her family in Florida.
But organisers of the pageant have been criticised for giving the first prize to 16-year-old Anysha Panesar.
Families of other contestants are said to be furious because Miss Panesar, from Llangan in the Vale of Glamorgan, is not an American national.
Parents of other girls in the pageant have protested after the school girl was given an $18,000 (£11,500) scholarship to train as at TV broadcaster as well as $2,000 (£1,300) cash prize for coming first in the competition. With the move to crown the Welsh teenager being described as a snub to US entrants.
Responding to the criticism Miss Panesar said: “Some people did say I shouldn’t have won because I’m British.
“But really I think the people who said that just said it because they didn’t win.”
The Howell’s school girl entered the teenage beauty pageant while staying at the family holiday home in Kissimmee, Florida.
“The pageant is like no other in that there are no rules for what you wear. It’s more like America’s Next Top Model. One year a girl even carried a panther cub down the runway.” Added Miss Panesar.
“I didn’t think I would actually win because I’m British, so I thought there was no chance I was going to win an American pageant.
“So when it got to me and one other person I thought I was going to come second.
“Then they announced the first runner up and I began walking forward before I realised it wasn’t my name.
“My mum was sitting there crying her eyes out and my dad didn’t know what to do with himself. My grandparents were on the phone – they were all so proud.”
The teenager plans on taking up her scholarship to study broadcasting in the USA after completing her A-Levels.