On May 18th, a historical change was made in pageantry world. One lucky winner was chosen as the 52nd contestant to compete in the world renowned Miss USA beauty pageant.
This year is the first year ever where one lucky woman would get the opportunity to compete in the glorified competition of Miss USA without having to be a state titleholder. Sherri Hill, a famous dress designer in the US, presented the “Finding Miss 52” competition where she sought women from across the nation who wanted a chance at having the Miss USA reign. The beautiful thing about this competition is that the woman did not have to be a model or former pageant girl to qualify, she simply had to be herself and apply.
In the age of social media, it’s wonderful that the platform was implemented. Women from across the nation could Tweet or post their pictures via Instagram, explaining why they would make a good candidate to hold the reign for Miss USA. An expert panel of judges had the job of reviewing the hashtags of #FindingMiss52 and reading what the girls had to say about themselves in order to choose the top 10 finalists that fans would then get to vote on. Women could have also applied on www.findingmiss52.missusa.com where a link prompted them to fill out basic information about themselves as well as uploading three pictures that they chose represented them and entering a caption to show why they would be a good fit.
Once the judges selected the top 10 finalists, the final voting was in the hands of fans to decide the fate of the contestants. On May 18th, Alexandra Miller from Oklahoma was selected as that lucky girl.
While it is exciting for her to be given a second chance for her true dream, I felt it defeated the purpose of the Finding Miss 52 competition. Alexandra Miller is a former pageant girl. In fact, she was the first runner-up for Miss Oklahoma who later became Miss Oklahoma when her successor succeeded all others at last year’s Miss USA competition when she won the crown. The factor that excited me most about the Finding Miss 52 competition was that regular women could now have a once in a lifetime experience at a chance of becoming a beauty queen. No preparation, no other sacrifice or perhaps even desire for the pageant world, yet they could experience something completely new and different. This competition gave the average women hope as many became accustomed to hashtagging their photos with #FindingMiss52 in hopes that it could be them, the lucky girl.
It would have been really interesting to see someone outside of pageantry be introduced to a new life and training outside of her comfort zone. I would have personally loved to see someone unfamiliar with the training become overwhelmed by what it takes to become a beauty queen because it’s a world so unfamiliar to many.
However, I am still excited for Alexandra Miller. She worked extensively at a chance to become Miss USA and although placing second in the Miss Oklahoma competition, she still gets to live out her dream on that stage, perhaps dreams do come true and second chances are the miracle worker.
It will be exciting to see how this historic event plays out on June 5th in Las Vegas when the Miss USA competition airs on live television.
Congratulations to this year’s 52 contestants, best of luck to them all.