Plus-sized Miss Alabama hits back at ‘evil’ trolls who called her ‘unhealthy’ – amongst other things

The winner of the Miss Alabama 2024 beauty contest has hit back at vile, fatphobic trolls who called her “unhealthy” and an “elephant”, telling fans, “you are more than the evil things people say about your body”. 

Sara Milliken, 23, the winner of this year’s Miss Alabama pageant, explained that taking the crown had been “a dream that has been eight years in the making”, but she had felt “hurt” after being trolled for being plus-size.

“Even something that you type over a screen can have a lasting impression on people,” she told local news station WKRG after her win. “I’ll be honest, it got to me for about five minutes… Their words can hurt, even if it is online.”

She added: “Even though I’m not at that point, it can lead people to do some very dark things to themselves.”

Milliken’s victory was her third attempt at the contest, which says it welcomes entrants of “varying heights, weights and appearances” and wants to celebrate “special and unique individuals”.

Despite the trolling Milliken was subjected to, which was widespread, she explained that she’s glad she met “so many amazing and accomplished women”, with many social media commenters full of praise after her win.

“Great to finally not see some 100lb, blonde hair, blue eyes, who wants world peace win! Congrats to Alabama and this Queen!” One commenter wrote.

Milliken added in a heartfelt Instagram post that she hoped her win would inspire “other girls and women to chase their dreams today”. 

“I knew there would be critics. I knew there would be hatred. That doesn’t make it right, but it is something I’ve mentally prepared myself for eight years now,” she explained. 

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

She added that it would be easy to “give up” and “hide my face” after the “truly disgusting” comments she had received after winning Miss Alabama. 

“But instead I say WATCH ME,” she said. “Watch me serve my community. Watch me give my all into preparing for nationals. Watch me find the shy girl in the room and learn her name. Watch me continue to pour positivity into social media. Watch me crush every goal I set. Watch me chase this dream. Watch me show every single hater why a plus-size woman can and should be a titleholder. Stand back and watch me show everyone who doubts me wrong.”

She added: “You are more than your body and more importantly… you are more than the evil things people say about your body.”

A history-making pageant 

𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐒𝐓 | First Married Transwoman in Miss USA!
Cambodian-American Bailey Anne Kennedy was crowned Miss Maryland USA 2024 on June 1st at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.
The 31-year-old military wife, an NCAA D1 Dance
Team Captain and a former NFL… pic.twitter.com/clMGbXg6nf

— Louise ~ PageantsNews (@PageantsNEWS) June 6, 2024

As well as Miss Alabama’s win, the national beauty pageant has also made history as Bailey Anne Kennedy became the first ever trans Miss Maryland. 

In scooping the title, Kennedy has also become the first Asian-American Miss Maryland.

The 31-year-old told Washington DC-based news outlet WDCW that she hoped her win would “open up some doors” for the LGBTQ+ community. 

“I knew that it was going to mean a lot for all the LGBTQ+ kids out there who might feel like they don’t belong in a box – like me growing up,” she told the outlet, adding that her win had been a “whirlwind”. 

“I hope I can be a positive contribution to society in making a difference,” she added.

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