“Feeling Anxious”: Sara Milliken Harassed After Winning Miss National American Alabama 2024

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The recent crowning of Sara Milliken as Miss National American Alabama 2024 has ignited a debate on cyberbullying and the validity of her title.

Image credits: thenamalmiss / Instagram

In May, Sara Milliken earned the title after participating in the National American Miss (NAM) pageant. However, the media’s reference to her as “Miss Alabama” led to questions about the title’s authenticity. As reported by 1819news, the 23-year-old makeup artist was indeed crowned Miss National American Alabama 2024, not “Miss Alabama.”

This mislabeling prompted former Miss Alabama Amie Beth Shaver to voice her confusion about the NAM title. She clarified that the only recognized Miss Alabama title belongs to the Miss America organization, whose winners compete in Miss America. Shaver also noted the prominence of the Miss USA pageant, whose winners move on to Miss Universe.

Amie Beth Shaver explained, “Miss America has a history spanning 101 years, and Miss USA leads to Miss Universe. But National American Miss is relatively unknown. I’m not even familiar with it.”

Image credits: thenamalmiss / Instagram

The media’s mistake caused widespread confusion about different pageant titles. Shaver emphasized, “If you are involved in pageantry, you participate in either Miss America or Miss USA. The title of Miss Alabama should be exclusively associated with Miss America, so applying it to the lesser-known National American Miss pageant is incorrect.”

In 2024, the Miss Alabama USA title was won by 21-year-old Diane Westhoven, who will compete in the Miss USA contest in August. The winner of Miss America Alabama 2024, who will be eligible for Miss Universe, has yet to be announced.

In addition to the title confusion, Sara faced a torrent of body-shaming comments following her victory. She described the remarks as “disgusting.” On June 6, she addressed this issue in a post, stating, “It’s crucial to highlight the part of the story that wasn’t broadcasted. When the behind-the-scenes photo from that day was first published, it garnered over 2,000 comments and was viewed over a million times. There was a mix of positive and negative reactions. Some comments were truly disgusting. While I choose not to focus on them, it’s important to have a conversation about this ‘second part’ of the story.”

Sara confessed to feeling “overwhelmed” and “anxious” due to the online reactions to her win. She pointed out that different pageants prioritize different aspects; Miss USA includes a swimsuit competition, while Miss America focuses on interviews, talent shows, evening gown presentations, and physical fitness. In contrast, NAM values contestants’ confidence and interactive skills over physical appearance.

In response to the backlash, NAM organizers clarified that Sara won due to her “clear communication, stage presence, and extensive community service.” They emphasized that NAM encourages young women to “live life without limits and boldly pursue their dreams.”

Acknowledging the widespread attention, Sara expressed, “I truly mean it when I say I have not let others steal my sunshine. However, I am overwhelmed. The magnitude of this story is daunting. That’s why I am prioritizing my mental well-being over the coming days. I know this too shall pass, and soon we will return to ‘normal.’”

Source: boredpanda

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