JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The heads of 50 women who wear crowns across the United States just got a little bit heavier.
An unexpected curveball has caused the 2020 Miss America pageant to be cancelled, meaning from Alabama to Wyoming, all 50 2019 candidates will hold their state titles for another year.
Miss Mississippi, Mary Margaret Hyer said it’s an opportunity, not a burden, even though she’ll have to make some adjustments.
“It’s such a blessing that I won’t take for granted,” Hyer said.
Hyer said during the past few months as Miss Mississippi, she has not been able to actively participate in her usual activities, many of which involve visiting sick children in hospitals.
“A lot of my work has kinda been put on hold for the past few months,” Hyer explained. “It’s not safe to have people from the general public interacting with patients so it’s kinda nice to get a little bit of a do-over in the sense that I’ve missed a couple — two I guess — months of work.”
While she is excited to eventually be able to press play on her professional life, she will have to press pause on her personal life, postponing her plans to attend Ole Miss law school in the fall.
“That had been something I’d been planning to do for a long time,” Hyer said. “[But] in order to be a good representative of the Miss Mississippi Corporation I really felt that I needed to remain a fulltime employee as opposed to trying to divide my time.”
Hyer said that Ole Miss has been very flexible and will allow her to defer until fall 2021.
She added that she is fully prepared to share her victory lap, keeping the original candidates in mind.
“I really wanna focus on expanding and shining more spotlight on the local candidates,” Hyer added. “One of them was supposed to hold my job this year.”
This is the first time that something like this has happened with Miss America since World War II, and Hyer said she is up for the challenge and opportunity to serve one more year.