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Beauty contestants in uproar as Welsh schoolgirl wins America's Perfect Teen pageant
A British private schoolgirl has caused a storm after being named America's Perfect Teen.
Anysha Panesar, 16, beat a host of American beauties to win the contest while on holiday in Florida.
But the families of other contestants are furious at the snub to the U.S. girls - because Anysha is from a tiny village in Wales.
Stunning success: Anysha Panesar, 16, from South Wales beat a host of American teenagers to win a beauty contest while on holiday in Florida
Parents of the American girls have protested to the organisers of the pageant, which has a $2,000 (£1,300) first prize - and an $18,000 (£11,500) scholarship to train as a TV broadcaster.
But Anysha has hit back - arguing the outcry is just sour grapes.
'Some people did say I shouldn't have won because I'm British,' she said.
'But really I think the people who said that just said it because they didn't win.'
Anysha - who goes to the same private school in Cardiff that singer Charlotte Church used to attend - entered the teenage beauty pageant while at the family holiday home in Kissimmee, Florida.
The America's Perfect Teen contest, which included girls as young as 13, has a big following in the States.
But Anysha was stunned to beat the other 30 contestants from across America.
She said: 'I think I was a bit different.
'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.
'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.
'Perfect teen': Anysha won £1,300 and a scholarship in TV broadcasting after coming first in the contest
'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.'
Anysha lives with her family in the village of Llangan in Vale of Glamorgan - and is now back in classes at Howells School in Cardiff.
She said: 'I've taken part in quite a few pageants now.
'They started off as just a bit of fun because I went on a school trip to The Clothes Show in Birmingham and won a catwalk competition there, and that got me through to the finals of my very first pageant.
'It just somehow grew from there and I got addicted to them.
'The pageants themselves can be really overwhelming because the girls do them every single weekend and they've been doing them since they were four years old.
'I wasn't as experienced as the other girls and didn't know as much as they did - so I still can't believe I actually won.'
The pageant's founder Michael Galanes, whose toddlers' pageant Little Miss Perfect has become a TV hit in the U.S., admitted it has caused fury.
He said: 'Yes, her win caused a bit of a stir because she is, of course, British.
'But that is perfectly within the rules of the competition and those people are just nay-sayers.
'One of the judges told me they liked Anysha because she was a breath of fresh air.
'She has natural beauty but she isn't afraid to be a bit wild. Anysha - what a beautiful girl.'
Anysha won the scholarship to learn broadcasting in the U.S., which she plans to take up after her A-levels.
She is also in talks to have her own TV show about her year as America's Perfect Teen.
Her mother Caroline, 41, said: 'We're so proud of Anysha, she's such a talented girl and we couldn't be more supportive of what she's doing.
'At the end of the day, we just want her to be happy.'
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