As the 2016 edition of the Miss America pageant debuts Sunday, some people might be confused about the difference between it and the Miss USA pageant. Though it might not seem like it, there are some variances between them.
On the surface, they do seem the same, consisting of dozens of beautiful American women competing for a crown. So, before discussing what is different, let’s talk about what is the same. Both winners get to win crowns they can justifiable wear in public-- without looking absurd. They also get the title, whether it be “Miss America” or “Miss USA.” And, of course, there is always money. The winners are awarded scholarships.
It’s a running gag in the Sandra Bullock film “Miss Congeniality,” but Miss America was really founded as a scholarship program. Miss USA, on the other hand, was created by Catalina Swimsuits to promote the company. Also, the winner of Miss USA has a chance to compete in Miss Universe, while there isn’t a higher beauty pageant level for Miss America to climb. Since different companies organize them, women can compete in both competitions if they choose to.
A fun fact that not every may know: Presumptive Republian presidential candidate Donald Trump owns the Miss USA peagent. Another piece of trivia, Olivia Culpo went on to win Miss Universe in 2012 after winning Miss USA.
This year, Betty Cantrell from Warner Robins, Georgia, will hand over her crown to the new winner.
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