The highlight of the Miss USA Preliminary Show was the swimsuit competition. Beauty pageants have grown and evolved, and the focus of most of them now is not only on the beauty of the contestants, but also on their intelligence and how well they communicate their answers to questions the host and judges pose to them. However, the swimsuit part of any beauty competition is still a highlight and crowd favorite, and it will never go away.
I have included a poll at the conclusion of this article, though, to get your opinions as to whether you think that the swimsuit part of beauty competitions is an integral and important part of beauty competitions, or archaic hold-backs that degrade women and treat them as sexual objects.
The three Miss USA 2013 contestants in the above photo by Darren Decker are Miss Oklahoma USA 2013, Makenzie Muse; Miss Pennsylvania USA 2013, Jessica Billings; and Miss South Carolina USA 2013, Megan Pinckney. They each are wearing ViX Paula Hermanny swimsuits and Chinese Laundry shoes. This photo is from the Miss USA 2013 Preliminary Show on last Tuesday, June 12.
They will compete LIVE during the Miss USA 2013 Show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday, June 16th, 2013, starting at 9:00 p.m. ET. One lucky and deserving winner will earn the title of Miss USA 2013 and the coveted Miss USA Diamond Nexus Crown.
YOUR votes, America, will determine who makes it to the semi-final rounds of the Miss USA 2013 competition.
Miss Oklahoma 2013, Makenzie Muse, 20, attends Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and works as a model. She graduated from Yukon High School in 2010.Though Oklahoma has never won the Miss USA title, they came close in 1989 and 2010. That’s when Jill Scheffert and Morgan Woolard placed first runner-up to Gretchen Polhemus and Rima Fakih, respectively. In terms of number of semi-finalists, they are in the top 20 states. They have made the semi-finals 22 times.
Miss Pennsylvania 2013, Jessica Billings, 26, is the current Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant title holder, and a contestant in the 2013 Miss USA pageant. She has previously served as a youth ambassador for the United States to the 2007 United Nations World Youth Assembly in Geneva. She has also previously served on the board of the National Organization for Youth Safety.
Jessica Billings received her Bachelor of Science degree from Saint MaryÕs College of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, where she was an honors graduate in Business/Marketing, with a minor in Sociology. She currently models the latest beauty, fashion and jewelry trends for ShopNBC and travels the world as flight attendant for Delta.
Billings is a veteran of the beauty pageant circuit, having started competing at 17 when she was a finalist in the Miss Minnesota Teen USA 2004. Billings went on to compete in the 2007 Miss Minnesota USA Pageant, placing in the top 15. In 2009 she was named first runner up in the Miss Indiana USA Pageant, first runner up in the 2010 Miss Wisconsin USA, and third runner up in 2011. In 2012 she finished top 15 in Miss Minnesota USA, before being crowned Miss Pennsylvania USA in 2013.
Miss South Carolina 2013, Megan Pinckney, 21, is a Charleston, South Carolina native and the daughter of Sabrina Pinckney. She is also a senior fashion-merchandising student at The University of South Carolina.
With her degree, she plans to become a buyer for a high-end department store, own her own boutique, build a lifestyle brand, and possibly become the editor of a magazine. Mega has served as an intern to the Sherri Hill team, accompanying them at markets and New York Fashion Week, and serves as a member of the National Retail Federation. Megan had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy where she studied the food and fashion of the Italian culture.
Megan is currently a Legislative Aide for a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. In her leisure time, she enjoys travelling and immersing herself in new cultures, collecting and reading Vogue magazines, and cheering on the Gamecocks! She also prides herself in the community service work and volunteerism. She was a recipient of the Presidential Service award in 2011.
Written by: Douglas Cobb