Mariyah Moten, a 22-year-old US-based Pakistani, is being billed as "Pakistan's first Miss Bikini" after she topped the 'Best in Media' category at the Miss Bikini Universe pageant in China last week.
Having won the title at Beihai resort in southern China, wowing crowds there and alarming conservatives in Pakistan, Moten is currently in Mumbai for a "special interview" assignment with a major Indian newspaper chain.
The News International newspaper reported with the comment: "A few Pakistani women in the past have ventured to compete in beauty pageants but none has gone this far in terms of unsheltered territory."
The Houston girl has "created a frenzy by participating in an international bikini contest and even landed a prize - even if not exactly for skin", the newspaper said.
Mariyah represented Pakistan at the pageant. She received a trophy, plus cash in the 'Best in Media' section for being "the most photographed and interviewed girl in the entire pageant".
Since the pageant, Mariyah has created a splash on television channels like Zee News as well as Khaleej Times, China Daily, Hangzhou Newspaper and various other newspapers in China and elsewhere.
Born and brought up in Karachi, Mariyah moved to the US with her family eight years ago, the newspaper said, quoting a report on the popular website DesPardes.com.
"It's the first time that Pakistan is participating in the bikini pageant, as we're an Islamic country," Moten was quoted as excitedly telling China Daily.
"Now, there's less reproach in Pakistan on women's participation in such beauty contests," she said. "All my family supports me and I'm excited to have the chance to participate in the event."
She is studying hotel management at the University of Houston, Texas, where she did her high schooling.
Mariyah was among 47 other participants who paraded at the Great Hall of The People. The candidates, all aged between 18 and 25, paraded before the cameras representing their countries. India did not participate.
Mariyah was crowned Queen Pearl and received $5,000 in prize money. The second and third place earned the title Miss Pearl and received $3,000 and $2,000 respectively, according to the pageant's organising committee.
This is the second award Mariyah has received in her pageant career after she was titled Miss Charity at the Miss Tourism Queen International pageant in July 2006.