Everyone Needs to Lay Off the Miss America Contestants

TIME

The newly crowned Miss America speaks Russian and Spanish. She earned a triple degree – in political science, global studies and geography – and is heading to law school at Fordham. She’s an outspoken advocate against domestic violence and sexual assault at a moment when we can use as many different voices addressing that problem as we can find.

To read social media last night and today, though, you’d think Kira Kazantsev was a talentless idiot with no self-respect. Beyond the mockery of her performance tapping a red cup to the beat of “Happy” – which she said later was her way of encouraging little girls to think outside the box – she was also blamed for the fact that a production flunky misspelled Jane Austen as “Austin” in a pop-up fact about her favorite literature.

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