Wonder-Woman of the Week: Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma
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Politics and Activism

Wonder-Woman Of The Week: Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma

University of Michigan graduate with a degree in women's studies, Miss America pageant contestant, and activist for sexual assault survivors and Flint, MI.

Wonder-Woman Of The Week: Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma

Especially in the past few months, women have been demanding social equality and taking stands against oppressive and outdated practices from the patriarchy, which is clear from the #TIMESUP and #MeToo movements and Women's March. Originally serving as beauty competitions to root women against one another, this new wave of the feminist movement has impacted pageants and ultimately led to the elimination of the swimsuit competition as well as calls for educated women to take social stands in the competitions.

Emily Sioma, a candidate for the Miss America pageant from Michigan, has made national headlines within the past week for a controversial and outspoken introduction she gave concerning the Flint water crisis.

Here are a few more reasons why Emily Sioma is my wonder-woman of the week:

1. She uses her social platform to support survivors of sexual assault

Sioma is doing her share to support the #TIMESUP movement by using her social media platform to promote "I Believe You: Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence." Emily holds the fight against sexual violence very close to her heart since she herself is a survivor of sexual assault.

2. She embodies a new, modern perception of women in pageants

In an interview with the Cosmopolitan, Emily Sioma claims that she hopes to attend graduate school to eventually work in politics, which greatly contrasts the stereotypical "goal" of a pageant girl as a trophy wife. Sioma truly represents what pageant women of the future strive to achieve or as she calls it, #wearemissamerica: individual success for women of all races and religions not in attribution to their beauty, but their intelligence and hard work.

4. She cooperates and participates in Children's Miracle Network

A long time before she was Miss Michigan or even a contestant for Miss America, Sioma participated in local charities that read to kids in elementary schools. She also participated in events that supported Children's Miracle Network, which raises money for children's hospitals and medical research on children's health issues.

4. She uses her platform to support organ donation

In another platform that she has, Sioma advocates for registration for organ donation in "Let Your Legacy Live On." Working with the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Sioma worked on an event called "Be a Hero in the Big House," which is the largest blood drive that the University of Michigan campus hosts.

5. She risked her Miss America win in order to make a political statement

During her ten-second introduction in which Miss America contestants usually say their name, state, and accomplishments, Emily Sioma made a political statement admonishing Michigan for their unacceptable and ludicrous treatment of citizens in the Flint Water Crisis.

Emily told WOMC radio, "I just couldn't bear to think that I have this amazing opportunity to represent this state on a national stage and I wouldn't take that opportunity to make sure that I'm having a call for action for people in our communities and saying, 'Water is important to us, water is a part of our life and we need to be making sure we're taking care of that and taking care of the people in our state."

Although Emily Sioma did not win Miss America, the honor going to Nia Franklin of New York, her political statement demanding reform for the residents of Flint, Michigan certainly gained her media attention and a spot on this week's wonder-woman of the week.

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