Brooklyn, a young, up-and-coming borough of New York City, truly has it all now: Last night, Mallory Hytes Hagan, a 23-year-old who lives in Park Slope, was crowned Miss America. Hagan, formerly Miss New York, beat out 52 other contestants (including one named Mariah Cary, aka Miss Iowa, who placed fifth) to win a $50,000 scholarship, which would afford her approximately 5/6ths of one year at NYU. Congratulations Mallory!
To win this illustrious prize, Hagan had to go through the standard pageant rigmarole, complete with Very Important Merit Based Activities like walking around in a swimsuit, tap dancing, and, of course, answering a question about gun control. Good Morning America's Sam Champion asked the serious question: "In the wake of the Newtown tragedy there has been a lot of talk about gun control. One solution being proposed is an armed guard in every school. Do you think that would make our schools safer?"
"I don't think the proper way to fight violence is with violence. I think the proper way is to educate people on guns and the ways we can use them properly. We can lock them up, we can have gun safety classes, we can have a longer waiting period."
Problem solved. Hagan also discussed her voyage from her native Alabama to Brooklyn – "I moved to NY in October 2008 with less than a grand in my pocket, a BIG suitcase and…a lot of hope." – and her plans for the future, which include a "degree in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing" so she can one day become the "Global Marketing Director for a cosmetics company."
Hagan is the first Miss New York to win the pageant since 1984, when Vanessa Williams was crowned (and then decrowned 10 months later, after "racy [nude] photos surfaced").
[Image via AP]