Mekayla didn't win the crown (and prize money), but she did steal the hearts of thousands of social media users.
The body debate continues this week, courtesy of one contestant in the Miss USA pageant, which took place Sunday. While the competition was won by Nia Sanchez from Nevada, it was Mekayla Diehl, aka Miss Indiana, who stole the social media spotlight with her performance during the swimsuit round.
Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl on Becoming a Social Media Phenom: Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl became the social med... http://t.co/Fr2ZnSA30P— Social Media Mind (@socialmediamind) June 11, 2014
Diehl weighs At 5'8", she weighs 137 pounds and wears a size 4 dress. Outside of the pageant and fashion worlds, she is considered perfectly normal and even athletic. But because she is a beauty queen, social media users have rallied around Diehl as a phenomenon, a sort of beacon of “healthy” beauty standards.
For her part, Mekayla doesn’t feel particularly exceptional. "I'm 25 and a woman, so I'm glad I look womanly," she says in response to one particular twitter compliment in the vein of the familiar “real women” argument.
The title went to Nia Sanchez, but Diehl still feels like a winner.
Of course, Miss Indiana has her ambitions. Despite not winning the Miss USA pageant, she hopes to be a role model to young girls.
"I think I'm inspiring a lot of young girls, which is what we need in today's society," the 25-year-old beauty queen told Entertainment Tonight.
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.