At Sunday’s Miss USA pageant, 25-year-old Miss Indiana, Mekayla Diehl, didn’t make it past the semifinals. She was one of 10 women who were eliminated from the superficial, “I wish for peace on Earth” competition after the swimsuit round, never to be heard from again.
Or that’s usually the story. Instead, after Diehl pranced down the runway in her skimpy white bikini, the Twitterverse ensured that her legacy would live on, with a flurry of tweets that congratulated her on taking the stage with a more “normal” body.
Even supermodel Petra Nemcova applauded Diehl’s “feat.” “I think it’s fantastic,” she explained. “Each person has a different body type. Some people are naturally skinny, some curvy. We have to celebrate all different shapes of the body. The main thing is to be healthy.”
“It’s quite overwhelming in a positive way, I suppose,” Diehl told Fox and Friendsin response to the praise she and her “curves” have received. “I did not [starve myself to fit into the bikini]. And the funny thing is, the bikini did not fit well—and people made a point to tell me that. But if that’s the only negative point of that entire experience, I’ll take it. I think the inspiration to some young girls has been wonderful…I wanted to inspire others to go after their dreams, and I never imagined it would be in a swimsuit. I trained very hard for the body I have, but I didn’t go to any extremes, and I’m proud of that. There’s nothing I would change about my preparation for Miss USA.”
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