Miss USA ‘not sure’ she would compete in Trump-owned pageant

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Newly crowned Miss USA Cheslie Kryst had a quick answer when asked if she would have competed in the pageant under President Trump’s ownership: “I’m not sure.”

Trump co-owned the organization — which includes the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants — for almost 20 years before selling his ownership in 2015 following backlash that met his presidential campaign announcement, in which he labeled many Mexican immigrants “rapists.”

And Trump’s controversies in the pageant world go back even further. In 1997 he publicly lambasted the reigning Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, for gaining weight. During his presidential campaign he attacked Machado again, urging the public to “check out [her] sex tape.

Miss USA 2019 winner Cheslie Kryst
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Miss USA 2019 winner Cheslie Kryst
This is #MissUSA 2019 @CheslieKryst. ✨ ⠀ __ Miss USA aired live from @GrandSierra in @RenoTahoe only on @FOXTV. #RenoTahoe
A once in a lifetime moment becomes a lifelong memory. Welcome to the sisterhood, @CheslieKryst. ✨ #RenoTahoe
#MissUSA 2019 is... NORTH CAROLINA! Welcome to the sisterhood, @CheslieKryst. 👑 #RenoTahoe
For months, my alarm rang daily at 4:45am so I could get in a morning workout. In the weeks leading up to my departure for Miss USA, I’d also come home and get in a second workout—30 to 45 minutes on the bike or elliptical. I gave up pasta, fried food, and dessert (with the occasional sweet treat on the weekends). I hated every second of my workout and nutrition regimen. But I’m thrilled that I felt confident and proud to strut my hard work across the Miss USA stage this week. One more day ‘til finals!!
I felt AMAZING walking into my Miss USA interview this morning in this red two piece by @gregoryellenburg!! I can confidently say I’ve never loved an interview outfit more than this one! Prelims are tonight. Here we go!!
It’s the 28th and I just turned 28!! I’m thrilled to be able to spend my birthday competing for the title of Miss USA. Many thanks to everyone for all of the birthday messages and calls and thanks to my pageant sisters for singing me Happy Birthday (and even eating a little cake with me 🙃🙃 shh). Huge thanks to @shopfoxylady for sponsoring this cute and comfy @sherrihill jumpsuit for me to wear on my special day! 😊❤️
Miss USA registration day one in the desert!! #RenoTahoe #MissUSA
Just before the UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball started! No mask, but I wore a shiny hat 😉 HUGE thanks to @shopmckenziejades for this stunning @tarikedizofficial gown. I got compliments on it all night!!
I was going to say this suit makes me feel like a first lady, but I’m actually feeling pretty presidential. 😎 • • Many thanks to Lula’s Boutique for dressing me in this gorgeous @stjohnknits suit for the Shades of Green fashion show today! Huge thanks to @theportiakee for working so hard to involve me, make me feel welcome, and highlight my blog, @whitecollarglam, during the luncheon!! Another thanks to @jinalaw for slaying my hair just in time for the show. The event was fantastic and the 700+ attendees made for a fun and engaged audience. Who’s coming next year? 👀 #SOG2019 #ShadesOfGreen #keepingeventsepic
Fave question from today’s Triangle Daddy-Daughter Dance: Are you a princess? Me: No, I’m a queen. 💁🏾‍♀️👑😂 • Many thanks to @shopmckenziejades for this dress that had me feeling like Queen C
Guess who’s presenting at the Carolina Country Music Awards tonight? 😘💃🏽 Many thanks to @shopfoxylady for this fun @jovanifashions gown!

In contrast, Kryst has made headlines for fighting against sexual harassment in the workplace. She defended the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements while competing for her Miss USA crown, and video of the moment onstage in Reno, Nev., went viral.

“I don’t think these movements have gone too far. What #MeToo and #TimesUp are about are making sure that we foster safe and inclusive workplaces in our country,” she said at the pageant. “As an attorney, that’s exactly what I want to hear, and that’s exactly what I want for this country.”

Kryst elaborated on the issue during an interview with “Through Her Eyes.”

“I don't think it's about man- or men-shaming,” she said. “Instead, what the movements are about is making sure that the men — or the women — who make our workplaces dangerous and unwelcoming are punished for that.”

Yet even without Trump at the helm, the Miss Universe Organization continues to receive some criticism and allegations of sexism. While the Miss America pageant decided to eliminate the swimsuit portion of its competition, the Miss USA pageant has chosen to keep the tradition, which some critics say objectifies women.

Kryst, who says she is a feminist, disagrees.

“Today's woman should have the option to do anything she wants,” she said. “If that means being a stay-at-home mom, do that. If that means wearing your skirt, wear it. But you should have the opportunity to have that choice and to make that choice regardless of what anybody else thinks.”

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