Sunday, January 20, 2013

Miss Montana

  Before I begin, I would like all of you to know I am not exactly a beauty pageant sort of person. Honestly, I'd rather be watching Doctor Who or reading a book. However, Miss USA this year I found surprisingly interesting, and I would like to tell you why.
   One of the contestants was not like the others in this particular competition. Alexis Wineman, aka Miss Montana, is an officially diagnosed Aspie. She decided to enter Miss Montana to see if she had what it took and, surprisingly, won. She then advanced to Miss USA. "It seemed kind of ironic: a girl who was told she was different and considered an outcast by many, in the nation's biggest beauty pageant," Alexis said later. Alexis did not win Miss USA, but she did win America's Choice, a title given to the person who won the online voting poll for the pageant. She was so honored and could not believe so many people out poured their votes to a total stranger just because of her amazing story: going from an outcast to the top fifteen in the Miss USA pageant. It is truly incredible.
  However, Alexis did not stop there. She is now using her fame to promote autism awareness and teach the world to be more accepting of people who are different. She wants people to understand "Normal" is just a dryer setting and people like her deserve not to be treated as outcasts. Alexis herself says "I will be successful if just one person encounters a child who is overstimulated without staring, if one teenager invites an "outcast" to lunch or just smiles at him or her, or if one employer gives a job to someone who might not be able to look the interviewer in the eye".
    What Alexis Wineman is doing should set an example for the world today. We may be different, Aspies, but never be afraid to reach for the stars. Alexis did, and today she is Miss Montana. Never be afraid of who you are hindering what you will be, because as Doctor Seuss says: "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind".

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