Miss Nebraska made her Cornhusker State proud tonight as she took home the title of Miss America 2011. This was also a historical milestone for the Miss America pageant as Miss Nebraska, Teresa Scanlan is the youngest contestant to win the pageant title in more than 90 years. She us also the first winner ever from Nebraska.
Technically, the youngest winner was the first winner, Margaret Gorman, 15, in 1921. However, 17 is now the youngest age that one can qualify for the Miss America pageant (since age restrictions were placed on the pageant in the 30s), meaning Teresa Scanlan sets a new record tonight.
The Miss America 2011 pageant took place at the Planet Hollywood Casino-Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Most national level pageants take place in Las Vegas today. Women will travel from all over the country for the opportunity to compete in areas of poise, talent, fitness and knowledge.
Teresa Scanlan takes over the crown from 22 year old, Caress Cameron, Miss Virginia 2010, and she has big plans for her scholarship money as well. She plans to go to law school and become a judge. Scanlan’s speaking platform is “Eating Disorders: A Generation at Risk”, something I hold personally dear to my own heart and I was happy to see her choose such an important topic.
“And I never passed up a cookie on my journey here,” Scanlan said, in reference to her healthy diet views.
With a pageant title like Miss America, comes a lot of responsibility. It’s not just about who has the prettiest face. In fact, it’s often not the most beautiful girl who wins. Judges are looking for a variety of qualities, including confidence when speaking and the ability to be a positive role model. Miss Nebraska will now be a role model to young women all over the country while also being required to uphold the responsibilities of her title in accordance with the Miss America organization.
Colleen Kay Hutchins, Miss America 1952 said it best, “Tell [the next Miss America] she is taking on a great responsibility. A responsibility to herself, to her people, to the Miss American Pageant, the people of Atlantic City, her state and her nation. Tell her the country and the world will judge America by her.”
That’s a lot of responsibility for a 17 year old but we have faith in Miss Nebraska and we look forward to what she will do in 2011. Congratulations Teresa Scanlan!
The Top 5 for Miss America 2011 included:
4th Runner Up: Miss Oklahoma, Emoly West
3rd Runner Up: Miss Washington, Jacquie Brown
2nd Runner Up: Miss Hawaii, Jalee Fusilier
1st Runner Up: Miss Arkansas, Alyse Eady
Now that the pageant is over, what are your thoughts? Did the best girl win?
See my interviews with beauty queen and good friend, Graziella Baratta, who understands well the pressures and the joys that Miss Nebraska will face as Miss America 2011:
Interview: Behind the Scenes with Pageant Winner Graziella Baratta
Ms United States 2008-2009 Graziella Baratta on Beauty, Health and More