Miss America’s Homecoming 2015

National Competitions

Last month, Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I am so proud to be able to say I watched this girl compete at Miss New York last year, just make Top 10, then come back with a vengance and not only take the state crown but go all the way to Miss America. The shock is still there. Miss America is from New York, three times in a row. This is certainly why we always have a New York State of mind. Everything’s better in New York!

10383009_917135998315179_4432357664803991469_nThree Miss Americas in a row made history. But also, we have three Miss America homecomings in a row. This homecoming should make history as well, as one of the best.  Following recent Miss America tradition, after a handful of appearances, performances, and hospital visits during her first month as Miss America, Kira would return to where it all began- The City of Lights.

Kira’s Army

National Competitions

Following the crowning of Miss America 2015, Kira Kazantsev, the social media broke out in harsh words criticizing everything from her physical appearance, her talent, and her national origin. Many of these comments, although still hurtful, were plain and simple ignorance from people who are unfamiliar with the organizational structure of the Miss America Organization.

The worst case scenario, however, happened when a former Miss America contestant posted a video of herself “singing” with her dog. As a former contestant, not only does she understand what it feels like to be on stage, but to have a talent that people may not understand. Originally, Theresa wanted to perform archery, her true talent, but was denied for liability reasons. She taught herself an opera song off Youtube, performed it on finals night, and did not advance past the talent portion. vail

Thankfully, not all of the Miss America family resents Kira and her talent selection. Many titleholders have stood up to defend Kira, solidifying the consensus that the 5th Point of the Crown is Sisterhood. In fact, “former” Miss Americas themselves have taken a stand to defend her, having stood in her position once. Mallory Hagan, 13 and Teresa Scanlan, 11 have both publically posted on their Facebook. Gretchen Carlson, 89 took the next step and defended Kira live on her Fox newscast.

Gretchen Carlson, 1989

Gretchen Carlson, 1989

In addition to a former Miss America herself, contestants who stood on stage with Kira have come to her defense. Lets remember that these girls came out to win. They were competing against her, yet still, despite not winning, have her back.

You’re not alone, Kira. The Miss America Sisterhood has your back.

Kira’s On-Stage Question

National Competitions

Although the on-stage question category is not scored during the final night, it gives the judges an idea of how well the lady can speak  in front of a crowd, on her feet, and form an opinion. This year, the answers were incredibly difficult, about heated topics like gun control and ISIS beheadings. but all five finalists did a wonderful job.  Kira, our new Miss New York, has received backlash in regards to “not answering the question”, however in fact she answered it better than we could have imagined.

Lee Meriwether, Q: There are a record 20 women serving in the senate. What is one specific issue where these women leaders should challenge the male majority and take the lead?

Basically, what is an issue that female senate leaders should bring to the table, because males may be focusing on other topics?

Kira Kazantsev, A: I really believe that sexual assault in our military is an issue that these women have gone to fight for and every single woman that fights in our military deserves the right to be safe and to be happy and to be respected by those she serves with. So those women should go to fight and they are and I’m so proud to be one of their constituents.

Kira’s platform is domestic violence prevention. It could have been so easy to mention the Ray Rice issue, bring up her past, and suggest stronger consequences for domestic violence attackers, or outlets for victims. She also could have listed any of the obvious- equal pay or equality in the workforce. But instead, Kira hits home with sexual assault in the military. This is one of the most shameful aspects of our country- how females can sign up to defend our country, put their at risk for the lives of others, then become a victim right at home by those who should be standing beside her. The only thing that could have made this answer better is if she would have mentioned Kirsten Gillibrand (a NY senator) by name, and her specific plan for this issue. It is relevant and necessary, and Kira was extremely gracious in her delivery.

Who is Kira? Really?

National Competitions

Since winning Miss America, rumors and opinions have circulated, with hopes of tearing down our new national representative. However, Kira is a strong individual and does not let this cyber bullying get to her.

Overture is a 60-second video, where the person describes who they are and what they do. It is far more personal than a 140 character Twitter bio or Facebook profile picture, yet doesn’t require the audience to read a biography novel either.

As Miss City of New York, Kira is an advocate and a blogger, who wants to “empower people so that they can stand up for themselves. ”