Miss Greater Derry, a local scholarship competition run by the Miss America Organization, has faced online criticism after it crowned its first-ever winner, a transgender woman, earlier this month.
Brían (pronounced “Bree-ann”) Nguyen, a 19-year-old social media influencer and business administration student, was crowned Miss Greater Derry 2023 on November 6th and will compete against other local titleholders for Miss New Hampshire 2023 in April.
“In Miss America’s 100-year history, I have officially become the FIRST transgender title winner within the Miss America Organization,” she wrote in a post shared to Miss Greater Derry’s Instagram page of her historic win.
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The Miss Greater Derry Pageant was there since 1987which provides scholarships to young women ages 17 to 24 in the greater Derry, New Hampshire area.
After being crowned the winner, Nguyen announced that she would be starting a social media movement called #QueensAreEverywhere. she explained in a post that the movement aims to help the next generation develop their confidence, fulfill their potential and become the leaders of their destiny.
Nguyen’s victory sparked a heated discussion online, leading some to criticize the Miss America Organization, the company that runs local scholarship competitions, for saying it “woke up”.
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Glamor model and Miss Great Britain 1998 winner Leilani Dowding attacked the organization to crown Nguyen as the winner, writing that young women today are not given the same opportunities as they used to be when they were in a ” Era without waking ideology” participated in competitions. ”
“In the past two years we have seen biological males compete against females in female sports tournaments with the unfair advantage of being male,” Dowding, 42, wrote in her op-ed for Conservative Media The daily fetch.
“But what is different about this beauty pageant is that Brían Nguyen had no advantages; Aside from being an overweight transgender identifier, a far cry from what society would have once classified as ‘natural beauty,'” she continued.
Similarly, GB News anchor Mark Dolan accused the scholarship competition of reaching the “pinnacle of awakening”. in a section where he commented on the announcement of the Miss Greater Derry winner.
Several Instagram users also slammed Nguyen’s win, with one user writing below Miss Greater Derry’s post: “Thnx (sic) for screwing the world up a little more. Disrespect to all real women in this world.”
One user even went so far as to poke fun at Nguyen’s performance in a comment below another Instagram postwrites, “Does Han Solo still owe you money?”
While the pageant began as a beauty pageant on the Atlantic City boardwalk in 1921, Miss America has undergone drastic changes, particularly after Gretchen Carlson, winner of Miss America 1989, became chair of the board of trustees in June 2018.
Some of the changes implemented in what the organization calls “Miss America 2.0” include the elimination of the swimsuit contest and an increased focus on the contestants’ achievements, talents, intelligence and ideas rather than their physical beauty.
“We want you and we want to celebrate your achievements and your talents and then we want to give you scholarships,” Carlson told potential candidates.
Despite the negative comments Nguyen received, many still celebrated the historic moment in her comments sectionwith a lettering: “Thank you for existing.”
“All those nasty comments will never compare to your grace, courage and beauty. You’re killing it,” commented another Instagram user.
Featured image via @Briannguyen