09:10 PM EDT 03/08/2014
Originally posted 12/28/2011 08:00AM
These days, slipping into a pair of size 2 skinny jeans isn't a challenge for Miss South Carolina, Bree Boyce. But for most of her life, Boyce says she was "miserable in my own skin" as a heavyset kid growing up in Florence, S.C.
"I used to make fun of my weight with others to fit in and be the funny, overweight girl," Boyce, 22, tells PEOPLE in this week's annual Half Their Size cover story.
"I'd go home and cry, not because of what others had said about me, but about what I had said about myself," she adds.
Originally posted 01/21/2011 11:30AM
Teresa Scanlan may have shocked the country when she was crowned Miss America at just 17 years old, but her parents knew their daughter had it in her all along.
"She's certainly mature beyond her age," her father Mark Scanlan tells the The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star. "Most people take her for at least six years older."
Adds Teresa's mom Jamie, "She's an independent young woman and always has been."
Originally posted 01/16/2011 08:30AM
Say hello to the new Miss America.
At just 17, Teresa Scanlan, a recent high school graduate, became the youngest woman to be honored with the title since 1921. She was the youngest contestant in Saturday's pageant at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Scanlan, who earlier in the evening played "White Water Chopsticks" on piano, won over the seven judges – including The View's Joy Behar and Dancing With The Stars pro Tony Dovolani – to take home the title, besting 52 other women in the pageant's 90th anniversary.
Originally posted 01/15/2011 11:30AM
Kayla Martell may look like any other pretty blonde from a distance, but there's one thing makes her a little different from the other contestants vying for the Miss America crown: she'll be wearing a custom-made wig for the pageant.
The bald beauty, who began losing her hair at the age of 13, suffers from hair loss due to alopecia areata. With the disease as her platform, the current Miss Delaware hopes to educate the public about it.
"I'm still getting used to long hair," says Martell, who typically goes wig-free. "So we'll style it away from my face with big curls."
Originally posted 01/31/2010 09:00AM
Dressed in a floor-length yellow gown and chandelier earrings, Caressa Cameron, a 22-year-old broadcast journalism student at Virginia Commonwealth University, won the title of Miss America 2010 on Saturday night at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
The 5'4"-tall beauty wowed judges by belting out Beyoncé's "Listen" from the film Dreamgirls and by telling kids to turn off the TV and to get outside and exercise during the interview segment of the competition.
"We need to get our kids back outside, playing with sticks in the street like I did when I was little," Cameron told judges after host Mario Lopez asked her a question about physical fitness and childhood obesity.
Originally posted 12/01/2008 04:00PM
After a year off, Mario Lopez of Extra returns to host the Miss America pageant, to be televised live from Las Vegas.
Lopez, 35, who emceed the show in 2007, follows last year's host Mark Steines of Entertainment Tonight.
The Miss America pageant airs Jan. 24 on TLC. – Mike Fleeman
Originally posted 01/28/2008 03:20PM
Three years ago Kirsten Haglund was so painfully thin, her parents dragged her to a doctor. On Saturday – after a long struggle with anorexia – the teen looked curvy, toned and confident as she strutted her way to the Miss America crown.
Afterward, the 19-year-old Broadway hopeful, who belted out "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for her talent, said she will devote her yearlong reign to raising eating-disorder awareness with the Childrens Miracle Network.
Originally posted 11/29/2006 08:55AM
Current Miss America Jennifer Berry underwent surgery for undisclosed reasons and spent the night in a Raleigh, North Carolina, hospital, a pageant official has confirmed to the Associated Press.
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