Miss America: More Than Just a Pretty Face

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From her the very beginning of yesterday’s Miss American pageant, Miss Michigan made it clear that she wasn’t playing around.

During the opening ceremony of Miss America 2019, the Women’s Studies major and advocate for survivors of sexual assault introduced herself by saying, “From the state with 84 percent of the US fresh water but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma.”


This is just another example of the high-profile beauty pageant bringing to light a number of progressive topics, with Miss Virginia, Emili McPhail, winning her interview portion of the show by arguing that football players had the right to kneel, and that the protest was “absolutely about police brutality.”

Madeline Collins of West Virginia claimed during her own interview that Donald Trump was the biggest issue currently facing America:

“Unfortunately, he has caused a lot of divide in our country,” said Collins. “And until we can trust in him and the choices that he makes for our country, we cannot become united.”

Miss America 2019
Even the winner of yesterday’s pageant, New York’s Nia Franklin, seems to appreciate the new direction that Miss America is going in.

“These changes, I think, will be great for our organization,” she said. “I’ve already seen so many young women reaching out to me personally as Miss New York asking how they can get involved because I think they feel more empowered that they don’t have to do things such as walk in a swimsuit for a scholarship.”

From now on, she seems to argue, Miss America should be more than just a pretty face.

“I’m more than just that,” Franklin said. “And all these women onstage are more than just that.”


Online editor for Hers magazine.

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