SARASOTA, Fla., May 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Miss USA is evolving and that’s a good thing. The Miss USA Pageant has been an icon for over 70 years. It celebrates women and provides a platform for showcasing their leadership, intelligence, talents and commitment to their communities. News coverage lately has generated some attention.

Our former title holder, Noelia Voigt, announced she was stepping down – in her own words –to pay attention to her mental health. Mental health is a serious concern for all of us, especially for those working in the public eye. We have collectively recognized the importance of prioritizing mental health, influenced by the shared experiences of various renowned athletes. Athletes in gymnastics and golf, among others, have taken breaks from their sports, shedding light on the significance of mental well-being. State and national pageant titleholders often exhibit qualities similar to those seen in high performing athletes. Participants in competitions devote considerable time, money, and effort to prepare and take part, all the while contributing substantial time and energy to their communities. In the Miss USA Pageant, nearly all contestants have dedicated years to engaging in various volunteer and leadership roles – such as assisting children, caring for animals, the environment, and the elderly to helping provide supplies to first responders and victims of horrendous fires. Our current Miss USA from Hawaii has been actively involved in assisting the victims of the Lahaina fires. She has stated her goal as Miss USA is to raise awareness and shine a light on the needs of those victims. I encourage readers to follow the state Miss USA pageants on-line. You will feel inspired when you witness how our contestants dedicate their time to enriching their communities. On behalf of the Miss USA organization, I am also collaborating closely with the National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI) to provide all of our contestants with access to local resources for counseling and various forms of support.

Miss USA has become more inclusive by removing the age requirement, for instance. Our State Directors are working tirelessly to let people know the pageants are activities in which all women may consider competing. All participants who engage in and advocate for their “passion” projects are winners. Contestants often mention that competition boosts self-confidence, improves leadership and public speaking abilities, and opens doors for their “passion” projects that can have a lasting impact.

We are very disappointed to hear the recent false allegations made by individuals speaking on behalf of our former titleholder. We cannot and will not address every falsehood, but I will address a few here. The allegations of sexual harassment, toxic environment and bullying are not true. To be clear, such behavior is not accepted, and we can assure you that if such behavior ever occurred, we would take immediate steps to protect our titleholder and provide access to appropriate resources. The suggestions of a lack of communication and support for the prior titleholder are likewise false; we provided constant communication about events and procedures and provided access to all of the services needed, much of which went ignored or unused by our titleholder. We also arranged many events (always with a chaperone) to which she was invited to showcase her achievements and highlight her “passion” projects, many of which our titleholder canceled at the last minute and without good reason. In the coming days we will address this further while we are focusing excitedly on our new Miss USA and the 2024 Miss USA National Pageant.

We are absolutely committed to upholding the values and spirit of the Miss USA brand every day. Miss USA wears a crown, and it symbolizes achievement. It comes with a commitment to work very hard and to acknowledge the pressures of the job. Change is inevitable for growth, for success, and most definitely for development. The Miss USA National Pageant will continue to embrace the future for the benefit of all women.

Media Contact:
Jordan Kimball
[email protected]

SOURCE Miss USA

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/an-open-letter-from-ceo-laylah-rose-on-miss-usa-302158718.html
Some images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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