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“I Feel Anxious”: Sara Milliken Tormented For Winning Miss National American Alabama 2024
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“I Feel Anxious”: Sara Milliken Tormented For Winning Miss National American Alabama 2024

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A pageant Queen’s victory as Miss National American Alabama 2024 has been clouded by controversy, triggering umpteen discussions over cyberbullying and the title’s legitimacy.

Sara Milliken won the title in May after participating in the National American Miss (NAM) pageant. But critics questioned the validity of her title after media outlets began referring to her as “Miss Alabama.”

Highlights
  • Sara Milliken's victory as Miss National American Alabama 2024 sparked controversy
  • Confusion arose after media outlets wrongly referred to her as "Miss Alabama"
  • Following her win, the 23-year-old winner faced widespread body-shaming and online negativity
  • National American Miss (NAM) defended the win by saying Sara captivated the selection panel with her poise on stage and community service

News outlets began calling the 23-year-old makeup artist “Miss Alabama” when she actually took home the crown of a completely different title—“Miss National American Alabama 2024”—according to 1819news.

Sara Milliken, a 23-year-old makeup artist, was crowned Miss National American Alabama 2024 in May

Image credits: thenamalmiss / Instagram

Following the pageant winner’s misrepresentation, former Miss Alabama Amie Beth Shaver said she didn’t even know what “this National American Miss” even was. She explained that there is only the Miss Alabama title, and the winners of that pageant are sent to compete in Miss America.

Another widely popular pageant is Miss USA, which sends its winners to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

“Miss America now is 101 years old and then Miss USA, which goes on the Miss Universe pageant,” Amie told the outlet. “But this National American Miss, no one has heard of it. I don’t even know what it is.”

The pageant winner was referred to as “Miss Alabama” by news outlets, sparking widespread confusion over different pageant titles

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Image credits: thenamalmiss / Instagram

“If you are a pageant person, you’re only going to participate in either Miss America or Miss USA,” she said and noted that the title of Miss Alabama is owned by Miss America, so using the same title for the lesser-known National American Miss pageant that Sara competed in would be wrong.

The title of Miss Alabama USA 2024 was won by Diane Westhoven, 21, this year, and she is expected to compete in the upcoming Miss USA contest in August.

The winner of Miss America Alabama 2024, who will be eligible to compete in the Miss Universe contest, is yet to be determined.

The Miss America Alabama 2024 winner addressed the flurry of body-shaming comments that came her way after her victory

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sara Milliken (@thenamalmiss)

Apart from the title confusion, Sara also had to endure a volley of body-shaming comments following her victory. Some of the things people were saying were “disgusting,” said the pageant winner.

“It’s important to address the part of the story that didn’t air. When they first published the behind the scenes photo from this day, it received over 2,000 comments and was viewed over a million times,” she wrote in a June 6 post. “A lot of positive but a lot of negativity as well. The things some people were saying truly was disgusting. I choose not to dwell on that. However, there is an important [conversation] to be had and I feel that as a titleholder it would be extremely irresponsible for me not to address the ‘second part’ of this story.”

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Sara said she felt “overwhelmed” and “anxious” by the internet’s response to her winning the title

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sara Milliken (@thenamalmiss)

It is key to note that different pageants give importance to different categories. For instance, Miss USA includes a swimsuit competition, while Miss America does not have a swimsuit segment but focuses instead on interviews, talent shows, evening gown presentations, and physical fitness.

NAM, meanwhile, focuses more on the contestants’ confidence and interactive skills over their physical appearance, according to Marca.

Following the backlash that Sara received over her triumph, organizers of the NAM pageant explained that she took home the crown because of her “clear communication, poise on stage, and extensive community service.”

“Pageants are not all the same. NAM is a pageant that encourages young women to live life without limits, and to boldly pursue their dreams,” NAM said in its statement.

National American Miss (NAM) released a statement and reminded people that all pageants are not the same and that they encourage women to “boldly pursue their dreams”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sara Milliken (@thenamalmiss)

An “overwhelmed” and “anxious” Sara also released a message in light of the backlash to acknowledge “how big this story has gotten.”

“I mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say I have not allowed others to steal my sunshine. However, I am overwhelmed. I feel anxious just thinking about how big this story has gotten,” she wrote. “There is truly nothing that can prepare you for the things I have faced over the last few days. That is why I think it is so important for me to continue to prioritize my mental wellbeing over the next few days. I know this to shall pass. We will be back to ‘normal’ soon!”

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Binitha Jacob

Binitha Jacob

Author, BoredPanda staff

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Working as a writer for Bored Panda offers an added layer of excitement. By afternoon, I'm fully immersed in the whirlwind of celebrity drama, and by evening, I'm navigating through the bustling universe of likes, shares, and clicks. This role not only allows me to delve into the fascinating world of pop culture but also lets me do what I love: weave words together and tell other people's captivating stories to the world

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Binitha Jacob

Binitha Jacob

Author, BoredPanda staff

Working as a writer for Bored Panda offers an added layer of excitement. By afternoon, I'm fully immersed in the whirlwind of celebrity drama, and by evening, I'm navigating through the bustling universe of likes, shares, and clicks. This role not only allows me to delve into the fascinating world of pop culture but also lets me do what I love: weave words together and tell other people's captivating stories to the world

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vvmartin avatar
pep Ito
Community Member
1 day ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It is as bad to show stereotyped beauty as it is to show unhealthy beauty.

ginshunray avatar
ginshun
Community Member
1 day ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She is extremely obese to the point of being unhealthy. Body positivity is fine and good, but it doesn't seem right to promote somebody at this level of obesity. This is no different that a woman with anorexia winning the title.

allenblack avatar
Allen Black
Community Member
1 day ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Amie Beth Shaver, who said she's never heard of the National Miss Pageant, also didn't "win" Miss Alalbama. She was 1st runner-up and was appointed to the role after the legitimate Miss Alabama won Miss America

Load More Comments
vvmartin avatar
pep Ito
Community Member
1 day ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It is as bad to show stereotyped beauty as it is to show unhealthy beauty.

ginshunray avatar
ginshun
Community Member
1 day ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She is extremely obese to the point of being unhealthy. Body positivity is fine and good, but it doesn't seem right to promote somebody at this level of obesity. This is no different that a woman with anorexia winning the title.

allenblack avatar
Allen Black
Community Member
1 day ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Amie Beth Shaver, who said she's never heard of the National Miss Pageant, also didn't "win" Miss Alalbama. She was 1st runner-up and was appointed to the role after the legitimate Miss Alabama won Miss America

Load More Comments
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