Mikayla Holmgren has proven that perseverance and personality are just as important as flawless beauty in the Miss USA pageant. She recently became the first ever participant with Down’s Syndrome to have a chance to become Miss Minnesota.
This was certainly not a whim or a charity case. The 22-year-old is a veteran of the junior pageant circuit and was awarded Miss Minnesota Junior Miss Amazing back in 2015. She went on to represent Minnesota in the national Junior Miss Amazing competition held in Los Angeles.
While Mikayla didn’t win the title of Miss Minnesota, she did impress the judges. She went home with the Spirit of Miss USA and Director’s Award.
This isn’t the first time that the Miss Minnesota title made headlines for being inclusive and progressive. Last year Halina Adem was the first woman to compete sporting a stylish hijab and burkini; proper attire for a Muslim woman.
It’s interesting that Minnesota has become the epicenter for such stories. Most people would consider Minnesota to be somewhat conservative compared to other states like California.
I think this shows an overall paradigm shift in values. People are beginning to understand that beauty is not just skin deep. Beauty can and does exist in all walks of life and can be expressed in many different ways.
I think it’s incredibly inspiring to see individuals who are able to follow their dreams no matter what obstacles stand in their path. We could all learn a lesson from these brave individuals who fearlessly stood up to the status quo against all odds.