A 23-year-old blonde from Brooklyn, N.Y., won the Miss America crown Saturday night after deftly dealing with a question about armed guards in schools and raising the issue of child sexual abuse in her contestant platform.
‘Fighting sexual abuse’
En route to her victory in the Las Vegas pageant, Mallory Hagan also tap danced to James Brown’s “Get Up Off of That Thing,” strutted down the runway in an asymmetrical white gown, and donned a revealing black string bikini. She defeated Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers, who took second, and Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton, who finished third.
Hagan wins a $50,000 college scholarship and a year as an instant celebrity and role model to many girls. Her platform, the issue she will promote during her reign, is fighting child sexual abuse. She told The Associated Press in an interview after her win that it was her mother who encouraged her to tackle the issue. She said that sexual abuse had “rippled through” her family, touching her mother, aunt, grandmother and cousins. Her mother had trouble at first convincing others of the trauma she had faced.
‘Educate people on guns’
“That kind of sent her into a whirlwind of anxiety and depression. So as a teen I lost my mom kind of for a couple years,” she said. “She was dealing with her own issues, and that’s something that now as an adult I understand, but then I certainly did not.”
In the final moments of the show, “Good Morning America” weatherman Sam Champion asked her if schools should hire armed guards in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting.
“I don’t think the proper was to fight violence is with violence,” she replied. “I think the proper way is to educate people on guns and the ways we can use them properly. We can lock them up, we can have gun safety classes, we can have a longer waiting period.”
Are you glad that Mallory Hagan of New York won the title of Miss America? Share your thoughts on her answer for her question about armed guards!