Newly crowned Miss America talks about anorexia battle

The 2008 Miss America pageant was held this past Saturday. It marked the first time the organization has dramatically changed the format to appeal to modern viewers: a four-part series leading up to the pageant. “Miss America: Reality Check” aired from January 4th – 25th on TLC and gave viewers a different view of the pageant world. All 52 contestants lived together and had to participate in events and challenges that would supposedly prepare them for the Miss America pageant. The reality show format allowed viewers to vote for their favorite, dubbed “America’s Choice” – who was Miss Utah, Jill Stevens. That must be like the reality show runner up. Stevens placed in the final 16 in the actual pageant. The winner was Miss Michigan, Kirsten Haglund, 19. Haglund will spend her year in power promoting eating disorder awareness, and as part of that has already discussed her battle with anorexia.

Just three years ago, newly crowned Miss America Kirsten Haglund was eating tiny portions of food and became so thin her concerned parents “dragged me to the doctor.” Haglund was diagnosed with anorexia, and the lack of nutrition caused her collar bones to stick out, her heart rate to drop and her relationships to suffer. “I would feel fatigued walking up six stairs,” the 19-year-old Haglund said Sunday, a day after being crowned Miss America 2008. “I was a completely different person. It’s not a pretty sight.”

Haglund plans to spend her yearlong reign, trying to raise awareness of eating disorders, promoting the pagaent [sic] and helping the Children’s Miracle Network while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercise. “You have to have curves,” she said proudly. “You can’t look like a stick-thin model.”

[From the Associated Press]

Haglund also went on to proclaim that “I love chocolate. Chocolates are a girl’s best friend.” I’m guessing she’s going to get a lot of free stuff from See’s. Unlike a lot of contestants, Haglund refuses to disclose her weight to “avoid setting standards for youths obsessed with getting lighter.” She has studied ballet and dreamed of dancing professionally, but eventually changed her mind about the dance world, which she felt ignored eating disorder concerns. Each year Miss America chooses a cause to focus on. Haglund also won a $50,000 scholarship. She is a student at the prestigious Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.