Miss USA and her discourteous words misrepresented our country

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One week ago, inside a hall in Thailand, stood over one hundred talented, qualified women, each vying for the chance to be Miss Universe. This infamous competition advocates for women who are not only physically beautiful, but who also have good-natured hearts and strive to improve the world.

In past years, in choosing Miss Universe, judges have looked for “a girl who is confident, beautiful, and strong,” “someone who can inspire change,” and “someone who can lead by example.” All in all, Miss Universe should be a role model to the billions of women in the world.

In comparison to these ideals behind this coveted competition, Miss USA’s recent actions catapult her to the opposite end of the spectrum. While it was slightly thrown under the rug, I find a specific instance of Miss USA’s words and the connotation behind them unacceptable for a woman who is supposed to represent the best of the best of our country.

In a rather underpublicized display, Sarah Rose Summers, Miss USA, commented on her competitors from Vietnam and Cambodia and their ability to speak English. In this live video posted to Instagram, Summers said that Miss Vietnam, H’Hen Nie, “pretended to know English, then you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her, and she just [smiles and nods].” Similarly, she discussed how “isolated” she thought Miss Cambodia must have felt, but in a way that insinuated that these strong, beautiful women were worse off for not speaking English.

Apart from rude and arrogant, I thought Summers came off as purely ignorant, and it even embarrassed me to think that she was the best option to represent our country. The devout entitlement that was embedded within Summers’s words saddened me deeply, but it angered me to think that despite her inconsiderate opinions, she still beat out 49 women from other states to stand for our country. How could Summers possibly be the most beautiful woman in our country with so much distaste in her heart?

While Summers did apologize to Miss Vietnam and Cambodia, and her apology did seem genuine, a woman involved in a worldly event like Miss Universe should have known better, especially since she knew it was being broadcasted to the world. Luckily for Summers, both Miss Vietnam and Miss Cambodia graciously forgave her and referenced the love, not hate, in their hearts. I hope that Summers is perhaps able to channel this love in the future and discard her inequitable opinions.

I understand that everybody makes mistakes, but Summers was representing a country that preaches freedom and equal rights for all in a competition that embodies excellence, and I feel as if she really let our country and its citizens down.

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