Brooklyn’s own Mallory Hagan took home the title of Miss America 2013 over the weekend, proving once and for all that beauty can also have brains.
The 23-year-old contestant tap-danced to James Brown’s “Get Up Off of That Thing,” but stole the show with her stance on gun control, a topic that has recently gained a lot of attention following the Sandy Hook Massacre and the growing incidents of gun violence sweeping the nation.
When asked whether or not schools guards should carry weapons to protect students in our schools, the Fashion Institute graduate’s answer is what ultimately helped her take home the award.
“I actually don’t think the proper way to fight violence is with violence,” Hagan, an Opelika, Ala., native answered. “I think the proper way is to educate people about guns and the way we properly use them.”
Her answers outshined the first runner-up in the competition, Miss South Carolina Ali Rodgers, and Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton, who came in third at the event at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas.
Aside from taking home a $50,000 scholarship, the 2010 Miss Brooklyn winner plans to give back during her reign as Miss America by raising funding for the Children’s Miracle Network in a coast-to-coast speaking tour.
“Brooklyn is excited and thrilled that our very own Mallory Hagan, a Park Slope resident by the way of Alabama, has been named Miss America 2013,” congratulated Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Hagan is the first Miss New York to win the competition since Vanessa Williams became the first African American to do it in 1984, though her crown was stripped after a photo scandal surfaced following the pageant.
“I had the honor of meeting Mallory at Brooklyn Borough Hall and have no doubt that she will represent Brooklyn, New York State and all of America with distinction during her reign,” Markowitz said. “On behalf of nearly 2.6 million fellow Brooklynites, I say bravo to Mallory, and we can’t wait to welcome her home and crown her Kings County style!”