Miss USA is speaking candidly. Sarah Rose Summers, this year’s winner, opened up on the perception of pageants during the #MeToo era.
“A lot of naysayers in pageantry say that it is irrelevant especially in this movement we are living in,” she said at the FN Platform trade show in Las Vegas on Monday. “I completely disagree. I think it’s the most relevant. I feel the most empowered as a young woman in my own skin in pageantry. They encourage my dreams and they’ve given me a voice and a platform to speak on unlike any other.”
In June, Miss America, another major U.S. pageant competition, announced that it would be ending its swimsuit competition in the midst of this cultural revolution. And while the Miss Universe Organization, which Miss USA is part of, has not ended the swimsuit portion, Summers said accepting differences is part of this movement.
She said, “I know some pageants have gone some different ways to go and I respect that. That’s what this #MeToo era is about. We are supposed to respect all [women’s] decisions, and the time I feel most judged is when people say pageantry isn’t relevant.”
Summers added that she feels most beautiful when she is surrounded by her “sisters.” “At Miss USA I was one out of 51 women who are confident in their own skin and have their own passions. That’s when I feel the most empowered,” she explained.
Nebraska-native Summers was crowned Miss USA 2018 in May, and in December, she will be representing the U.S. at Miss Universe 2018 in Bangkok.
For now, she is busy acclimating to life in New York. And as far as her fashion goes, Summers keeps it comfortable and casual for her days on the go. She said, “It depends on the day. If I’m running around NYC, I’ll be in leggings and a workout top [and] tennis shoes. But somewhere like this, I love to be bright and fun because that’s just my personality.”
Summers made a guest appearance at designer Lauren Lorraine’s booth, wearing gem-embellished platform sandals, for the occasion.
What’s her best advice for wearing heels? Summers said the key is to make sure your shoes fit well. Plus, “Blister Band-aids are going to be your best friend,” she said. Watch the video below hear more from Miss USA.
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