The new Miss America is an Alabama-bred blonde beauty who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and loves ’80s pop music. But Mallory Hytes Hagan is more than just a pretty face who tap-danced her way into the judges’ hearts on Saturday.
Here are five things to know about the new Miss America:
1. Modern Day Rags to Riches?
At 18, Hagan moved to New York with only $1,000 in her pocket. “I just didn’t know that $1,000 wasn’t enough money,” she told PEOPLE. “I look back at my parents now for letting me do it and I think, ‘Are you crazy?’ ” I genuinely think they thought I’d be there for three weeks and move back. I hit the ground running and had three job offers in first day.”
2. She Wants to Jump Out of a Plane!
Hagan claims she’s not a risk taker, but she would love to go skydiving because it’s “completely out of control” – the opposite of how she usually behaves. “I think it would be amazing,” she said. “I’m truly a Capricorn, so I like to plan out what’s going to happen. I think it’s about the drive. I’d love to go skydiving. Why not?”
3. She’s No Longer the ‘Bridesmaid’
If it appeared that Hagan was genuinely shocked when her name was announced as the new Miss America it’s because she was. “As a teen, I was third, second and first runner-up. In Miss New York, I was first runner-up twice. My thought process was, ‘They’re going to get another first runner up photo of me.’ I’m thrilled to be here but I didn’t expect it at all.”
4. She Wants to Stop Sexual Abuse of Children
Her platform, Stop It Now! (which works to prevent child sexual abuse), is close to her heart because several of the women (and possibly some of the men) in her family were sexually abused as children, she told reporters in a press conference. “I never was, but it was something I was going through in my teenage years as my family was trying to find peace in that,” she says. She thinks mandatory child sexual awareness education would be “an incredible step for America.”
5. She Loves Cosmetics
She may not be different than many women with her interest in cosmetics, but Hagan wants to make a career out of it. A student studying advertising, communications and marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Hagan’s dream job would be the global marketing director for a cosmetic company. As part of her duties as Miss America, Hagan will work with Artistry cosmetics. “This will be a wonderful internship,” she said.