Las Vegas, NV – January 12, 2013 – Miss New York, Mallory Hytes Hagan was crowned Miss America 2013 tonight at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The final night of the 2013 Miss America Competition was broadcast live on ABC.
Mallory’s triumphant walk across the stage was just the beginning of a journey that will take her to every corner of the country during her year of service as Miss America 2013. She will travel approximately 20,000 miles each month speaking to audiences about her platform “Stop it Now-Child Sexual Abuse” and acting as the official National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals, is the national platform partner of the Miss America Organization.
In addition, Miss America 2013 will be the official spokesperson for Amway, Joseph Ribkoff Inc. and Catalina Swimwear.
Mallory is a student at The Fashion Institute of Technology. During her year as Miss America she will serve as spokesperson for Education and focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics) this year as she travels to Washington, DC to work with the Department of Education.
Along with the title of Miss America 2013, Mallory won a $50,000 scholarship provided by Amway to continue her education. For the talent portion of the competition, Mallory performed a Tap Dance to “Get Up” by James Brown.
The first runner-up was Miss South Carolina, Ali Rogers who earned a $25,000 Amway scholarship. Her talent performance was Piano and her personal platform is “Make a Difference”.
Second runner-up honors and a $20,000 Amway scholarship were awarded to Miss Oklahoma, Alicia Clifton. Her talent was Tap Dance, and her personal platform is “Tap” Into Lifelong Volunteerism.
Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman was the winner of ABC’s America’s Choice, an online competition where viewers were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite Miss America contestant. The announcement was made at the beginning of the Miss America broadcast and she became the 15th Finalist to compete in the live finale.
Miss Washington, Mandy Schendel was the winner of the Judge’s Choice, an on-air, surprise opportunity for the Judges to jointly select an additional contestant to compete among the finalists.
As the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women and one of the nation’s leading achievement programs, the Miss America Organization made available last year more than $45 million in scholarship assistance. The Miss America Organization provides young women with a vehicle to further their personal and professional goals and instills a spirit of community service through a variety of nationwide community-based programs.
So much has been given to me as Miss New York, but when I look at this quote I reflect on my entire existence. I have been given an amazing life by two incredible parents and I have the most supportive family and friends anyone could ever ask for. I have been given a safe, comfortable childhood, ridiculously normal teen years and the encouragement to follow my dreams as a young adult. I have been given all of the tools necessary to grow into a well-adjusted, mature, driven woman. I have been given all of those things by the “village” that raised me.
Because I have been given so many wonderful gifts, I genuinely believe it is my responsibility to give back. Being Miss New York means I have the opportunity to touch and enhance lives around our state every day. It means I have the ability to be a voice for the education and awareness surrounding Child Sexual Abuse. It means that my life is complete with or without the title of Miss America.
However, I am ready for this.
My mother often says that when she was pregnant with me…she knew I was going to be Miss America one day. I have perservered in the Miss America Organization for many, many years. Out of eight MAO state pageants, I have placed in the Top 5 SIX times. I kept coming back because I knew that I had the ability to be a wonderful Miss America and all that I can ask for is that my knowledge and charisma carry that dream into reality. As I embark on this journey today, I feel an overwhelming since of excitement and peace. This is exactly where God intended me to be.
I will share as much of my journey with you as I possibly can. Make sure you’re following my ZILLION social media accounts. Please know that all of your encouraging words, texts, tweets and facebook messages have been received. I cannot thank you enough for your warmth and enthusiasm for this time in my life. I am humbled by your support!
Merry Christmas, happy Hannakuh, happy Holidays and enjoy Kwanzaa! Did you like that rhyme? I think if Miss America isn’t in the cards, I’ll just start a career in the music bizzz.
The past week has been crazy! Upon returning from Rochester I had only a few days to prepare for my mom to come to town. I spent those days working my hiney off so that I could spend time with her. I have never been so thankful to see her! Okay, maybe once or twice before, but I seriously could not WAIT for her to get here. She arrived on Thursday and it was non-stop from the second she got here to the moment she left. We shopped until we literally dropped, drove to kingdom come and back and rehearsed my talent like none other. Thanks to her I was able to complete my Miss America wardrobe, decide on what to wear throughout the week and in rehearsals and enjoy a nice birthday dinner to celebrate turning 24. Although, I will say, 24 is a fairly boring birthday. Womp Womp.
After Mom left on Christmas Eve, I had a much-needed evening of relaxation and pampering. I was able to watch a ridiculous amount of news while giving my toes and fingers a little ‘sprucing’ up and then…on Christmas…I got just what I asked for from Santa….
Today it was back to the grind, though. I had work this morning, an interview prep session with the fabulous Joan Baker, then an amazing Bikram Yoga class and then a really productive rehearsal. Whew.
Now, on to tomorrow! Just giving you all a little update.
What an amazing past couple of weeks! I had a blast attending the Tommy Hilfiger “Men of New York” Benefit for Sandy, Toys for Tots at Chelsea Piers with Mr. New York, the 42nd St. Gala at the New Victory Theater and the African Children’s Choir Benefit with Big and Rich. In addition, I was so blessed to have the most incredible send-off celebration hosted by Mrs. Wanda and Amanda Mason at Olive’s in NYC. A huge thank you to the Mason family for hosting my celebration! It was the most beautiful setting, incredible people and best food!! I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful, caring people in my life. Thank you to everyone who came to support me and my journey to Miss America! I was truly touched by the sweet messages written on my banner. Additionally, Katie, Maria, Claire, Heather, Christina, Jesse, Shannon and Acacia….I cannot say how honestly touched I am by your generosity and kindness. I LOVE MY NECKLACE!
The next step after my send-off was…..Rochester!
My new car share sponsor, Carpingo, sent me off in my little Fiat and to Rochester I went! I am so lucky to have been given a beautiful room at the Rochester Plaza Hotel right in the middle of the city and central to all of my appearances. The staff was amazing and I was grateful to have a warm, cozy, comfortable bed for my trip…it was tiring! Upon arriving in the Rochester area, I met Miss Western New York 2012, Jesse Ladoue, for a yummy dinner at the Elmwood Inn. I had a steak. Yesssss. It was great to be able to catch up with her and hear about her journey to becoming Miss New York International. Both of us are preparing for a national experience so it was exciting to have dinner and some girl talk.
Wednesday morning, though, I was up bright and early for a full day of appearances in the Greece School District. I met Ms. Deb Heoft and we were off! I spent the day speaking to the students of both their middle and high schools about bullying and my experiences at their age. It was amazing! Although bullying is not my platform, it is definitely something that was a part of my life and it was so inspiring to see how my story encouraged the students to whom I was speaking. To top it all off, I finally had the opportunity to meet Tayrin Tapia, the remarkable woman who started DearTayrin. We had a yummy Sushi dinner in Pittsford and then headed back to the beautiful Rochester Plaza for a live twitter chat about Sexual Abuse and prevention methods. Wednesday was such an empowering day. Then, like a vision, Miss Thousand Islands 2013, Lonna McCary, appeared to spend some girl time with me! How lucky am I? We spent the night hanging out and cutting up. Then…we hit the sack for Thursday’s appearances.
Our first stop was the Career Mentoring Center for Youth where we both shared our journeys throughout the Miss America Organization, our many leadership and philanthropic positions as well as our plans for our future. It wasn’t too long before we were flooded with questions and posing for individual photos with every student. We had some time to visit with each of them and learn about their goals with college and beyond. We even watched a few pageant YouTube videos. Hilarious!
Next we scooted off to the Galisano Children’s Hospital wing to hang out with the Bingo crowd. I didn’t win a single game!! Grrr. However, while Lonna called the Bingo cards, I made rounds through the Children’s wing and met some truly special girls (no boys!). Each one a princess with a Disney themed pajamas or extraordinarily decorated Christmas trees. It is always such a pleasure to visit Children’s Miracle Network kids, but for whatever reason, a few of these really plucked my heartstrings. I hope to make the trip back as Miss America.
Our last stop of the day was to the Center for Youth After School Program at James Madison High School. I had the pleasure of speaking to roughly 40 young women about my journey through MAO and how perseverance and purpose will propel you in life. Lonna and I had a blast signing individual cards for each girl and taking a zillion pictures. It was really nice to have a ‘partner in crime’ all day long! We didn’t waste much time getting back to the hotel and taking off our heels, though. Ouch!
In keeping with the theme, that night I was able to meet with former Miss New York Org. contestant, Heather Knowles, at her family’s house. We had a ‘birthday eve’ dinner and were able to solidify some details of the recruitment event we have planned for this coming week. It was wonderful to meet her family and her boyfriend, Garrett (finally!), before hitting the sack. We both had the be on the radio super early yesterday! The Wease show was my last stop before hitting the road back to NYC. I did multiple radio interviews before grabbing Birthday Breakfast with Heather and then heading back.
Well yesterday was officially my longest day as Miss New York thus far! I think maybe by fatigue was amplified by the 900 lbs of stuff I was hauling around, but my gosh…it exhausted me!
It started when my alarm went off an hour too late (whoops). I hopped out of bed, threw on my gym clothes, packed my (multiple) bags for the day and RAN to the subway. Luckily my trainer, Mark Fisher, lives upstairs from his amazing boutique gym in Midtown west, but still…never want to be late! I made it, just ten minutes past the hour and we got started. I even wore my new star legginigs. They’re awesome. Mark kicked my booty and then I was on my way to our official clothing sponsor, Beyond 7 Boutique in Chelsea. I picked out a few items for the events i’m attending this weekend and even took a picture with their HighBall energy drink (but I didn’t drink it ). Next? Off to rehearsal at Pearl Studios on 36th and 8th with Mr. New York, Luke Hawkins. He really helped me nail some of my ridiculously fast steps that Shea Sullivan choreographed in to my routine. Two hours later my feet were blistered and I was sweating bullets. Attractive, huh?
After rehearsal, I walked from Pearl Studios to Tommy Hilfiger (54th and 5th ave) for a fitting for their event tonight. WOW. They were so generous…gifting me two pant suits, a coat, shoes and a dress. I cannot wait to show you pictures when they arrive! I”m so excited, I may burst. Really.
From there? Off to my hair sponsor, Vartali for a quick blow-out and place to change for the Maya’s Commitment to Hope Fundraiser at Soigne K at 63rd and Madison. Golly!!!
I had a wonderful time at the event! It was a pleasure to be invited by Mr. Matthew Berritt and stand next to some of New York’s well-known reality television stars, but most importantly I am happy I could be there to support an organization that is so wonderful; finding ways to help orphaned children across the world.
It was a long day, but certainly a rewarding one. It was definitely preperation for the live of Miss America.
Catch ya tomorrow…can’t wait to tell you about the Tommy Event tonight!
I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving! I certainly did. It’s not often I have the opportunity to go home for seven straight days and spend time with my amazing family. Sometimes I just wish I could move them up to NYC so they would be closer! I was happy to fly to Charlotte to meet my best friend Ashley. Being that we don’t get to spend a lot of time together, I thought I would accompany her for the 6 hour car ride to Opelika to catch up. Her Birthday was Wednesday so it was great to see her and our other besties, Ali, to celebrate Ashley’s turning 24. I can’t believe i’m next!
Ashley, Me and Ali
Thanksgiving was filled with tons of family. I’m lucky enough that my parent’s families all come together to celebrate holiday occasions….all TWENTY of us! I was especially excited to see my twin cousins Sydni and Maddi. It’s been about two years since the last time we were together and they are so GROWN UP! It’s crazy. We have always said they look like little mini-me’s, so we had fun with a little photo shoot! I loved being around them for a couple of days…. ahhhh pre-teens.
Can you believe they are TWELVE?!
Previous to my trip, Deana (my booking manager) and I had been in contact with the National Child Advocacy Center in Huntsville, AL. Huntsville is about a four hour drive from my hometown of Opelika, so Friday around 7:00 am, my mom and I hopped in the car and took a day trip. The NCAC was closed, but I was fortunate enough to receive a private tour from the Executive Director, Mr. Chris Newlin and the Director of Development, Ms. Catherine Hereford. The NCAC facility is beautiful and our meeting went exceptionally well. We discussed ways for me to partner with them as a National ‘model’ for advocacy centers everywhere. I am hopeful that I will be able to attend their Symposium this coming spring! In addition, they put me in contact with Erin Merryn and Margaret Hoelzer, both women who are championing for Child Sexual Abuse. In that same day, I had a phone meeting with former Miss America, Marilyn Van Derbur. We had a long discussion about the best way to reach our target audience and educate Americans on CSA. She was so kind and I am so thankful for her taking the time to speak with me. What an honor! It was a big day for my platform!
National Child Avocacy Center
Friday night I was so happy to go to my high school alma mater’s football game! Opelika has always had a dynamite football team and this was the Round 3 game of the Alabama state playoff rounds! They played our biggest rival, Auburn High and WON! I will admit, though, that I really went to watch the Spirit of the South Showstoppers (the Kickline I was on through school). They performed an awesome half-time show!
Kadie (the new Miss OHS) and Claudia, MYM Dancers!
The rest of my trip I spent with talent rehearsal, college football and shopping! We took advantage of some of the left-over Black Friday deals and tried to get some inspiration for my Miss America wardrobe. My mom and Jaime got some dresses to wear in Las Vegas! It’s SO close! I was also happy to hang out with some of my dearest high school friends, John Mark and Hunter, to catch up. I missed them! In addition, I got some much needed interview prep in… thanks to a very passionate round-table discussion with my family. Whew, politics!
I’ll have to admit, I was a bit sad to leave. BUT….also ready to get this Miss America show on the road! Ya feel me?
Excuse me while I throw this down, I’m old and cranky and tired of hearing the idiocy repeated by people who ought to know better.
Real women do not have curves. Real women do not look like just one thing.
Real women have curves, and not. They are tall, and not. They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not. They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever.
Real women start their lives as baby girls. And as baby boys. And as babies of indeterminate biological sex whose bodies terrify their doctors and families into making all kinds of very sudden decisions.
Real women have big hands and small hands and long elegant fingers and short stubby fingers and manicures and broken nails with dirt under them.
Real women have armpit hair and leg hair and pubic hair and facial hair and chest hair and sexy moustaches and full, luxuriant beards. Real women have none of these things, spontaneously or as the result of intentional change. Real women are bald as eggs, by chance and by choice and by chemo. Real women have hair so long they can sit on it. Real women wear wigs and weaves and extensions and kufi and do-rags and hairnets and hijab and headscarves and hats and yarmulkes and textured rubber swim caps with the plastic flowers on the sides.
Real women wear high heels and skirts. Or not.
Real women are feminine and smell good and they are masculine and smell good and they are androgynous and smell good, except when they don’t smell so good, but that can be changed if desired because real women change stuff when they want to.
Real women have ovaries. Unless they don’t, and sometimes they don’t because they were born that way and sometimes they don’t because they had to have their ovaries removed. Real women have uteruses, unless they don’t, see above. Real women have vaginas and clitorises and XX sex chromosomes and high estrogen levels, they ovulate and menstruate and can get pregnant and have babies. Except sometimes not, for a rather spectacular array of reasons both spontaneous and induced.
Real women are fat. And thin. And both, and neither, and otherwise. Doesn’t make them any less real.
There is a phrase I wish I could engrave upon the hearts of every single person, everywhere in the world, and it is this sentence which comes from the genius lips of the grand and eloquent Mr. Glenn Marla:
There is no wrong way to have a body.
I’m going to say it again because it’s important: There is no wrong way to have a body.
And if your moral compass points in any way, shape, or form to equality, you need to get this through your thick skull and stop with the “real women are like such-and-so” crap.
You are not the authority on what “real” human beings are, and who qualifies as “real” and on what basis. All human beings are real.
Yes, I know you’re tired of feeling disenfranchised. It is a tiresome and loathsome thing to be and to feel. But the tit-for-tat disenfranchisement of others is not going to solve that problem. Solidarity has to start somewhere and it might as well be with you and me.
I think sometimes it’s easy to lose ourselves in trying to become something else. There is no wrong way to be…except not yourself. In my quest to become Miss America, I find myself daily wishing that this or that in regards to my body/hair/face/clothes were different. In reality, though.. I should be proud of the wonderful assets that I have (and strive to only enhance them). So glad I was scrolling around my old blog- this is what I needed today.
Actually I didn’t move. Or shower. I barely brushed my teeth (okay, okay I did). I’m feeling a lot under the weather- head colds are being served up in NYC like Thanksgiving stuffing. Everyone is getting sick! That didn’t stop me from getting some serious work done today, though. Yippee!
1. I made a connection with former Miss America (1958), Marilyn Van Derbur, in hopes of us working together on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention. I cannot tell you how excited this makes me. Marilyn has an incredible story of renewed hope and triumph over tragedy. She is a remarkable woman who overcame a lifetime of hurt. Her book Miss America by Day describes her healing process after 13 years of abuse by her father. I would love nothing more than to join forces with her as Miss America 2013 to educate and inspire the nation to ‘start the conversation’ with each other and our children about abuse prevention. She has some wonderful interviews on her website. Take a look if you have a few moments.
2. The Miss NY girls and I are ready to rally this weekend! A plan is in action to put our time and muscles to good use. We will be heading to Staten Island on Saturday to help clean and sort. We will do the same thing in Queens on Sunday. Let’s pray that this storm coming through this week does little to no damage.
3. I was in touch with Speaker Christine Quinn’s Director of Public Outreach about relief efforts in NYC. Looking forward to volunteering with any of their organizations. In addition, I signed up for NY Cares and will hopefully be able to join them this week in SI for clean up efforts, too.
4. I began writing my blog for Safe Horizon’s website. What an honor! I feel so blessed to have been given a forum to publicly discuss Child Sexual Abuse on such a national website. My hours of volunteering at the Jane Barker Child Advocacy Center and trips to Child Abuse Prevention Program workshops will undoubtedly give me an assortment of topics and issues to write about. I cannot wait to share mine with you, but first you can read a few of the existing columns here.
5. I did some serious election reading. Although, my mind was already made. #Obama2012
6. I was invited to be a guest at an event coming up for Maya’s Hope. I’ll tell ya more later, but here’s the flyer:
6. I took a moment to watch this episode of Oprah. Watch the first 5 minutes and give me a good reason why any child should be denied Child Sexual Abuse Education. Actually- help me understand why it’s not a mandatory topic in schools. (Warning explicit content)