Miss America 2020 was crowned last night, and before we hear gripes about how pageants aren't rocket science, know that the latest winner is an actual scientist, with a platform focused on education.
Camille Schrier, who entered the competition as Miss Virginia, graduated (cum laude, no less) from Virginia Tech with dual bachelor of science degrees in biochemistry and systems biology. She's now working toward her doctorate of pharmacy (PharmD) at Virginia Commonwealth University. She pledged last night to use her title to promote drug safety and abuse prevention and STEM education. “Miss America is someone who needs to educate," she told judges, who included Kelly Rowland and Queer Eye's Karamo Brown.
And she did just that in the talent portion of the event, conducting a colorful experiment.
Schrier beat out 50 other candidates (in Miss America 2.0, as some fans refer to the revamped event, the women are no longer called contestants) to have Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin place the crown atop her head—and be awarded with scholarship funds. "I’m not the beauty queen,” Schrier said, per the Associated Press. “I’m the brand ambassador for this organization and I’m more than just someone with a crown on my head.”
This was the second year of the newer version of the Miss America pageant without the swimsuit competition. “To make it relevant for these young women, it was important for us as a scholarship and service organization to make sure that we were reflective of this generation, meaning that you no longer had to be defined by some sort of ideal,” Regina Hopper, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization, said.
That was a very good thing for Schrier. Onstage, she talked about battling an eating disorder and only choosing to compete after the swimsuit competition was eliminated. “I kind of figured that I would never get on that stage because I was a woman who did not want to get into a swimsuit onstage. And I didn’t have a performing talent, which is really ironic now,” she said.
Originally Appeared on Glamour