Olivia Prewitt is breaking a mold. The Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2017 contestant isn’t blonde or tall, the image of many beauty pageant contestants in the past. In fact, she’s the first biracial contestant to hold the title.
Prewitt, born and raised in Danville, will be representing her old Kentucky home in the 2017 Miss Teen USA Competition in Phoenix, Ariz., July 28-29 where she will compete with young women from all 50 states for the title of Miss Teen USA.
Prewitt, 18, chose a platform of self worth for young women to enforce a positive attitude and self image. She said she didn’t always see herself as worthy for certain things in life, especially being a minority — her mom is white and her dad is black — in the pageant world, and it was important for her to encourage a positive attitude.
“It’s easy to get caught up in certain stuff and be down on yourself, and not ever feel like you’re good enough, but that’s such a lie,” Prewitt said. “That comes from within. You have to be able to turn that down and say ‘I am worth it, I am loved, and I am good enough.’”
Prewitt recalled the moment before the winner of Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2017 was announced. She said there were only three minorities competing that year.
She said she didn’t care who would win the title because at least it was a young women who would bring diversity.
“I’ve talked to many girls who were minority, and they thought they would never have a chance, so to break that stereotype is kind of cool,” Prewitt said.
Prewitt acknowledged that there’s a greater representation of all ethnicities in pageants, especially since the last two winners of Miss USA are black. Deshauna Barber was crowned Miss USA 2016, and then Kára McCullough Miss USA 2017.
Connie Clark Harrison, executive state director of the Miss Kentucky USA and Miss Kentucky Teen USA competition, said she hopes Prewitt will help set a precedent for the upcoming pageants.
“The world is very colorful....it’s all on the same playing field,” Clark Harrison said.
Prewitt will be a freshman at the University of Kentucky in the fall where she plans to major in broadcast journalism. She’s a first generation college student. She said she is undecided about whether she will compete for the title of Miss Kentucky USA.
2017 Miss Teen USA competition
When: 7 p.m. July 28 (preliminary round) and 6 p.m. July 29 (finals)
Where: Symphony Hall Phoenix, AZ
Tickets: Available online