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Former Miss America titleholders weigh in on pageant's controversial decision

Miss Arkansas / Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields, Photo Date: 9/11/16

With the announcement that Miss America is scrapping the swimsuit and evening gown portions of competition, past titleholders weighed in on the organization's decision.

Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014, posted across multiple social media sites following the announcement. "Since my time serving as Miss America and beyond, I've been fortunate to experience many proud moments in my career and recognition for my advocacy work," Davuluri said. "My swimsuit score had nothing to do with any of them."

Mallory Hytes Hagan, Miss America 2013, posted a Facebook Live shortly after the announcement.

In the video, Hagan discussed her internal struggle with body image and weight. Hagan says she weighed 124 pounds on stage at Miss America (she's 5 feet 7 inches) and now weighs 164 pounds post-pageant.

That experience, Hagan said, "can lend to some real struggles post being-on-stage at Miss America." Around the eight-minute mark of the video, she says she cares more now about current titleholders being empowered and bringing value to the Miss America organization.

Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund called the decision, "progress." Haglund discussed her battle with anorexia nervosa after entering her first local competition, for Miss Oakland County in 2006.

Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000, shared Haglund's post on Facebook with the comment, "I echo everything my sweet sister is saying here!"


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