LAWRENCEVILLE -- At 5 feet even, Sabrina Nooruddin might not have the height most pageant winners do, but her 7-inch tall crown more than makes up for that.
The Gwinnett native was recently named Miss USA Petite during the first-ever USA Petite pageants, which were open to young women and teens who stand 5 feet, 5 inches or shorter.
Nooruddin competed with eight other young women in the finals for the Miss division, open to young women ages 17 to 24, which drew contestants from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, California and Puerto Rico.
While many pageant contestants typically stand 5 feet, 7 inches, or taller, the USA Petite pageants recognize the idea that beautiful young women worthy of a crown come in shorter packages.
"I think it's part of what society has defined as beautiful," Nooruddin said of the trend of pageants featuring taller contestants. "I think that it's a lot of just being above a certain height and to be tall and slender and have a certain color of skin."
Nooruddin's platform in the Miss USA Petite pageant, and one she plans to continue to promote, was peer mentoring.
"I think that I am a role model for girls who really aren't a certain stereotype," Nooruddin said. "I think it's important to embrace all types of beauty. We can't let society define it and if it is going to be that, then we need to change what society defines as beautiful."
Nooruddin's Miss USA Petite title comes just a year after the 20-year-old began competing pageants. She recently passed on her crown for Miss India Georgia. Bitten by the pageant bug, Nooruddin is getting involved behind the scenes, too. She will be a director for Miss Georgia Petite next spring.
"While I enjoy the stage myself," she said, "I love helping other girls and getting them to increase their self confidence. It's kind of become a passion."
Most recently, Nooruddin helped coordinate the Miss India Georgia pageant, coaching contestants before the competition.
"It was such a great experience coaching and training them," she said. "I saw girls transform in front of my eyes, just the way that they were able to speak and the way their were able to walk and present themselves even just in six weeks. It was so amazing. I am a strong believer that pageants build character and I think that that's one of the biggest things that are overlooked. I really want to take that into Miss Georgia Petite."