Here She Comes, America's Perfect Teen, From Wales
The not-so-secret life of America's perfect teen? She's a British schoolgirl from Wales.
The crowning of 16-year-old Anysha Panesar, who was allowed to enter the America's Perfect Teen beauty pageant as an international contestant, is causing waves on both sides of the pond.
A former Miss Teen Wales, she beat out 80 others for the title, winning $2,000 and an $18,000 scholarship in the process. Panesar, who hails from Llangan, Wales, some 3,500 miles from U.S. shores, says she found out about the contest while on a family vacation in Kissimmee, Fla.
Families of aspiring American beauties are furious about the snub to their U.S. girls, pageant founder Michael Galanes tells London's Daily Mail.
"Yes, her win caused a bit of a stir because she is British. But that is perfectly within the rules of the competition and those people are just nay-sayers," Galanes, whose toddler's pageant, Little Miss Perfect, has become a big hit. "One of the judges told me she liked Anysha because she was just a breath of fresh air."
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Speaking live on "Today" from London this morning, Panesar says she didn't receive any flack from the American contestants as she competed in and eventually won "their" pageant over the course of four days.
"They didn't say anything nasty to me whatsoever; I was having the best week of my life, to be honest," she tells the morning show.
Her mother sees it differently.
Caroline Panesar, 41, says anyone who thinks a British contestant should not have won is simply jealous.
''I did not hear anyone say anything nasty about her being British when we were there, but I have heard it since and it is sour grapes," she tells London's Telegraph. ''You are always going to get that, it is the nature of competition. For every person who says 'well done' there will be someone who complains behind her back."
Related: Teen Aspires to Become a Beauty Queen ... and an Undertaker
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