NATIONAL NEWS

Miss Teen USA steps down just days after Miss USA’s resignation

May 9, 2024, 9:29 AM

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(CNN) — Miss Teen USA resigned Wednesday, sending further shock waves through the pageant community just days after Miss USA said she would relinquish her crown.

In an Instagram post Wednesday, Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava said her “personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization.”

“After months of grappling with this decision, I have made the choice to resign from the title of Miss Teen USA 2023,” wrote Srivastava in a statement on her personal account. The high school teen from New Jersey won the pageant back in September and had expressed her pride at being the first Mexican-Indian American to hold the role.

“I look forward to the rest of the year as I finish 11th grade as part of the National Honor Society and start the college application process, knowing that my academic career has been defined by my hard work, and my hard work alone,” she added. She said she would continue her advocacy for education and acceptance alongside work with the Lotus Petal and Bridge of Books foundations.

The pageant responded with an Instagram post, writing that it respected Srivastava’s decision, considered the well-being of titleholders “a top priority,” and that a successor would be named soon.

Srivastava and the Miss Universe and Miss USA organizations did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

Her resignation comes on the heels of another queen relinquishing her title earlier this week.

On Monday, Noelia Voigt stepped down from her Miss USA title, citing her mental health. When she took the crown in November, Voigt, who is Venezuelan American and from Utah, said she would work to connect with diverse communities across the United States.

“Deep down I know that this is just the beginning of a new chapter for me, and my hope is that I continue to inspire others to remain steadfast, prioritize your mental health, advocate for yourself and others by using your voice, and never be afraid of what the future holds, even if it feels uncertain,” she posted on Instagram.

“Never compromise your physical and mental well-being. Our health is our wealth,” she wrote.

Her post drew speculation from fans that Voigt was sending a hidden message about a non-disclosure agreement, with the first letter of the first 11 sentences of her statement spelling out “I am silenced.”

A spokesperson for the Miss USA Organization told CNN in a statement on Monday that they supported Voigt’s decision to step down from her duties and that “the well-being of our titleholders is a top priority, and we understand her need to prioritize herself at this time.”

The organization added they are reviewing plans for the “transition of responsibilities to a successor” and that they will announce the new Miss USA soon.

The resignations, along with the organization’s social media director Claudia Michelle also stepping down last week, have raised questions among fans around the culture of beauty pageants and whether aspects are in need of an overhaul.

Michelle has been more candid about alleged problems at the organization. In an Instagram post she wrote she disavows “workplace toxicity and bullying of any kind.”

Miss Universe and Miss USA did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

Some of Voigt’s fellow Miss USA contestants shared a post claiming that “the majority” of the 2023 class supported her decision to leave and asked the Miss USA Organization to release Voigt from her NDA clause “so that she is free to speak on her experiences.”


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Miss Teen USA steps down just days after Miss USA’s resignation