Controversy Erupts Over Plus Sized Miss Alabama Winning Crown
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The newly crowned National American Miss, Miss Alabama is facing backlash online for what critics are saying is the promotion of unhealthy lifestyles.

Sara Milliken, 23, was named the winner of the National American Miss pageant competition over Memorial Day weekend and has since gone viral online. The Alabama native auditioned twice previously and did not place, then won the crown in 2024. 

“No matter what your body looks like, no matter where you come from, you can do anything you set your mind to,” she told WKRG in an interview about the win.

The contestant said she expected negativity because of her weight. “Even something that you type over a screen can have a lasting impression on people,” she told the outlet. “Even though I’m not at that point, it can lead people to do some very dark things to themselves,” the beauty pageant winner added.

Many of the negative comments focused on how Milliken’s win glorified obesity, noting how this was not meant to be a personal attack.

“Calling her beautiful is fine and good that’s all in the eye of the beholder,” one Facebook commenter wrote. “But let’s be honest with ourselves… she’s extremely unhealthy and this is a slap in the face to the young girls who have worked hard and maintained a diet to actually be a beauty queen.”

“This is an embarrassment to the state of Alabama,” the social media user added.

“The winner of Miss Alabama. She promotes inclusivity and representation of all bodies. We need to stop glorifying obesity. Obesity isn’t healthy,” Libs of TikTok shared on X.


“Body positivity was one of, if not the worst thing we have done as a society in the last 30 years. If anyone truly cared about her, they would tell her the truth,” a commenter on X agreed.

The newly crowned Miss Alabama responded to the negative comments with a lengthy Instagram post.

“Recently I have been the target of an overwhelming amount of online hate, negativity, and bullying. Honestly, it doesn’t affect me in the way most would think it does. A lot of people see me stepping into this title as wanting to be ‘in the spotlight’ and because of that their words are justified. The truth is I wanted this title so desperately to serve my community,” Milliken wrote.

“More than anything I just wish people could find something more interesting to do or something more interesting to talk about,” she continued. 

“The things that has been said about me is truly disgusting and I cannot fathom how people think it’s ok to say these things. The easy thing would be to give up. I could hide my face. Stop posting on social media. Make no appearances. Stay low key until Nationals. I could even give in and give up my title. But instead I say WATCH ME.”

Besides controversy over the Miss Alabama crowning, pageant fans are also questioning the state winner in the Miss USA competition. Bailey Anne Kennedy, a biological male who identifies as trans, became the first “trans woman” to be named Miss Maryland. Auburn University student Diane Westhoven was crowned Miss Alabama USA last weekend. 

Kennedy and Westhoven will next head to Los Angeles to compete for Miss USA. The competition is scheduled to air on Sunday, August 4 on The CW.

This article has been updated to reflect that Milliken won the National American Miss pageant, which is different from the Miss USA pageant and the Miss Alabama organization. 

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