This past year was most certainly filled with some incredible women! Our reigning titleholders made such an impact on the world in the past year. There were definitely some exceptional titleholders that inspired us this year. Below is a list of the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Pageants for 2013.
Olivia was a role model for women everywhere the second she stepped foot on that stage. America had spent two years with Culpo but she proved herself to be powerful in her beauty exposed interview while in Russia. Being battered with questions the Miss Universe queen held her own and showed that pageant girls are more than just a pretty face.
Theresa Vail is Miss Kansas 2013. She became the first Miss America contestant to openly display tattoos during the swimsuit competition in the Miss America 2014 pageant, where she placed into the Top 10 and won the “America’s Choice” award. Vail’s platform is Empowering Women: Overcoming Stereotypes and Breaking Barriers and she does this by living her life day by day by being a section leader at Kansas Army National Guard Medical Detachment and a full time pageant girl.
Not only did Nina Davaluri have an enormous amount of pressure on her as she headed to the Miss America pageant, after all she was the successor of Mallory, Miss America 2013, but she was representing her heritage as well. Nina was the first Indian-American to walk away with the title. Once she was crowned, Davaluri was faced with racist remarks but continued to represent the America system and herself with class proving to be powerful in her own way.
It is certainly not an easy task being a teenager in todays society, but can you imagine being a Teen USA titleholder and having people watch your every move? No literally, Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf was being watched through the webcam on her computer. As a teenager, and a person in general this is creepy, but Wolf held her own and made it a mission to go out and speak to teens today about internet safety trying to bring awareness to the situation instead of hiding.
Wineman, Miss Montana America, will go down in the Miss America record books as the 92-year-old pageant’s first contestant diagnosed with autism.
“The girl you’re seeing right now is not the girl you would have seen 10 years ago,” Wineman told ABC News. “I have overcome a lot. I have overcome so many of my symptoms.” Wineman was first diagnosed with the developmental disorder that affects one’s social and communication skills at age eleven. Even though she was considered highly functioning, Wineman recalls being ridiculed for her speech impediment and intense shyness. “I would stay in my room for hours, not wanting to talk to anyone,” she said. “Growing up, I barely hung out with anyone and that’s because I was afraid of being laughed at.”
Although not a current a titleholder, Alyssa Campanella made a huge statement this year when posting a blog entry she wrote and posted it all over social media. This entry portrayed her at her weakest making her vulnerable to much hate, which in my eyes is a courageous thing to do. Alyssa gave us an inside look at her life during Miss Universe and touched many lives throughout the nation.
Miss Utah, Marissa Powell, finished third in the Miss USA Pageant, and became an Internet sensation for her flubbed response to a question about the gender wage gap. But she is getting just as much, if not more attention as the actual winner of the pageant, Miss Connecticut, Erin Brady. I praise Powell for turning a national taunt into positive publicity.
Nicole Kelly, 23, may have been born without her left forearm, but that didn’t stop her from her being crowned Miss Iowa on June 8. “A year ago, I certainly didn’t see ‘pageant titleholder’ in my future,” Kelly writes on her “Meet Miss Iowa” biography page. “Perhaps I didn’t originally envision this path, but I now know that being Miss Iowa is the perfect fit for me, and I feel so blessed to be surrounded by people who have encouraged me every step of the way. Giving a voice to my platform, Overcoming Disabilities, is a tremendous honor, and I am thrilled to continue my adventure by speaking out and touching lives as Miss Iowa 2013.”
Just hours after suffering a devastating knee injury, Miss Florida, Myrrhanda Jones, took to the Miss America stage and brought the house down Thursday night during the pageant’s final night of preliminary competition. Jones suffered a completely torn ACL and a partially torn MCL in her right knee after a fall during her talent rehearsal. Medics took her offstage on a stretcher and rushed her to the hospital. Jones returned to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall with a brace on her knee and determined to perform. “Football players normally do this in a game and they’re out for the rest of the season, they don’t come back,” Jones told ABC News. “It’s not exactly like that here. I’m coming back.” Jones showed that with determination anything is possible.
“I moved to NY in October 2008 with less than a grand in my pocket, a BIG suitcase &…a lot of hope,” says Hagan. A dream since a child Hagan finally captured the title of Miss America where she traveled for the year of her reign with the platform of Sexual Awareness. Hagan had the opportunity to speak about her platform on Capitol Hill. “Many people in my family experienced sexual abuse,” whether as children or as adults, she said. She herself escaped that ordeal, she said, giving thanks to her parents. But “essentially it’s an all-encompassing subject that’s really kind of been a blanket over our family for a long time,” she said. It was a recurring topic at her many public appearances, from public schools to Capitol Hill. “It was really a profound experience,” Hagan said.
These incredible women certainly had influential in the past year. What do you think of these ladies? Did I miss anyone? Let me know in the comments!