Talk of the Town

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Kara McCollough's reign as Miss USA off to a rocky start

The reign of the newly crowned Miss USA is off to a rocky start.

Even before Kara McCollough, Miss District of Columbia, was announced the winner, social media was in a frenzy over her responses during the Q&A segment of the broadcast.

McCullough, a 25-year-old physical scientist at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was asked if affordable health care for all US citizens is a right or a privilege.

"I'm definitely going to say it's a privilege," she said. "As a government employee, I am granted health care and I see first-hand that for one to have health care, you have to have jobs."

McCollough also set fingers a-Tweeting when she said she did not consider herself a feminist.

McCollough, a woman of color, said she was worried about how audiences would view her natural, curly hair in a sea of straight and teased pageant locks.

"When I chose to wear my hair curly I was afraid. I didn’t know how people were going to accept it. If anyone was going to be receptive to it at all, but I felt like a Grecian goddess on stage!" she told Refinery 29.

But it was her viewpoints that ended up as the topic of debate rather than her hairstyle:

McCollough is a 2013 graduate of South Carolina State University, a historically Black college in Orangeburg, S.C..

She follows the reign of Deshauna Barber, the former Miss USA who also hailed from D.C.

The organization, once owned by President Trump, was sold in 2015 to Talent agency and entertainment company WME/IMG.

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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.