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10 reasons to love the new Mrs. Universe, Ashley Burnham

"People think pageant girls are just tall, beautiful, and have nothing to say. I have a lot to say."

10 reasons to love the new Mrs. Universe, Ashley Burnham

Ashley Burnham, a native of the great country of Canada, recently won the Mrs. Universe Pageant.

Mrs. Universe is a beauty pageant for married women. But now it's more than that. It's a beauty pageant for beautiful women who aren't afraid to speak their minds and make me want to do a cartwheel of joy.

Tomorrow night a new @mrsuniverse2015 will be crowned. I worked so hard to get to this day in hopes of becoming the next Mrs Universe. Whatever the outcome may be I know I've done my best and I will continue to do the charitable work I love to do. Stay tuned... 😊❤️🇨🇦👑
A photo posted by Ashley Burnham (Callingbull) (@ash_burnham) on

OK, so she's got the beauty part down. Wait for the rest ...


She is also the first aboriginal winner of Mrs. Universe.

Know this: Beauty queens, for all the stigma around pageants and all that, work hard. It ain't easy. Even after all that, Ashley Burnham — also known as Ashley Callingbull — is a cut above. Why?

Well, I've got 10 reasons she is SO much more than the average beauty queen.

1. She's a part of the Enoch Cree Nation of Alberta, Canada.


Powwow selfie
A photo posted by Ashley Burnham (Callingbull) (@ash_burnham) on

First Nation realness.

2. She's getting political, and she doesn't care if you don't like it.

As she told CBC news, "There's just so many problems with it for First Nations people. We're always put on the back burner. With the bills that have been passed, we are being treated like terrorists if we're fighting for our land and our water. It's our right to, and now we're being treated like terrorists if we do anything about it. ... It's ridiculous."

On her first day as Mrs. Universe, she basically urged all First Nations people to vote out the current Canadian prime minister.

BOOM!

3. She reps her heritage.


Excited to dance this weekend 🙋🏾 A photo posted by Ashley Burnham (Callingbull) (@ash_burnham) on


4. She responded to critics on a Facebook post that got over 12,000 reposts and counting.

After tweeting about political issues affecting the First Nations and encouraging people to vote (shocking, I know), some folks on the Internet were calling her "too political."

Well ... she had something to say to them.

Look out is right!

5. She also said this: "We need to all come together and protest what we deserve as human beings. We can't be silenced by our governments."


Me either, RuPaul. Me either.

Feeling glamorous and ready for @mrsuniverse2015 👑
A photo posted by Ashley Burnham (Callingbull) (@ash_burnham) on

What's she thinking? Something awesome, I bet.

6. She won the pageant. That ain't easy, folks!


Hometown paper 💕 A photo posted by Ashley Burnham (Callingbull) (@ash_burnham) on

And she celebrated by sharing a gram from her hometown paper. <3

7. She's a big supporter of No More Stolen Sisters, an organization that is trying to raise awareness about the BIG problem with violence against indigenous women.

She also started Who Is She, a campaign a campaign that fights the disproportional violence against indigenous women.

According to a report that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shared with The Guardian, indigenous women are 3 to 4 times more likely to be murdered than other women. Additionally, "while aboriginal women represent just 4.3% of Canada's female population, they represent 16% of female homicide victims and 11% of missing persons cases involving women."

This chart from a report done by the Canadian government on the topic of murdered and missing indigenous women backs it up.


And as the new Mrs. Universe, Ashley is *so* not here for that.

I'm going to keep speaking up for our stolen sisters ❤️ #mmiw #whoisshe
A video posted by Ashley Burnham (Callingbull) (@ash_burnham) on


8. As a vocal survivor of childhood abuse, she's serious about breaking the stigma and silence.

And she's vocal about finding healthy ways to heal.

GIFS via " Canada AM."

9. She's sorry she's not sorry. ;)


Sorry NOT sorry 🙌🏾
A photo posted by Ashley Burnham (Callingbull) (@ash_burnham) on

Ooooooh, snap!

10. Basically she's fierce af.


Official Mrs Universe Canada swimsuit shot. I'm all settled into Minsk, Belarus and my roommate is Mrs Belarus! 5 days till @mrsuniverse2015 finals! ❤️🇨🇦❤️
A photo posted by Ashley Burnham (Callingbull) (@ash_burnham) on

And she also does a fab Throwback Thursday #tbt moment.

Me and @xxvii.vii.mmii have been cruising together since we were babies. She's my passenger in life. ❤️
A photo posted by Ashley Burnham (Callingbull) (@ash_burnham) on


Calling all beauty queens: Get on her level.

Yes. She's got a pretty face, and beauty standards can be oppressive, but amen to what she's using it to say.

Her fierce beliefs, strong character and fearlessness in the face of people who would silence her make her a TRUE beauty to me. Reign on, my queen!

"I'm not your typical beauty queen. I have a voice for change and I'm going to use it!" — Ashley Burnham, Mrs. Universe 2015
Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

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Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

via idiehlpare / Flickr and ESPN

An innocent tweet by sports reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques erupted into a great discussion where people tried to describe the indescribable. "There's an unnamed media member in here who has never had a Dr. Pepper and asked what it tastes like," he tweeted.

"I have no idea how to describe it -- how would y'all do it?" he asked.

Marcel Louis-Jacques covers the Miami Dolphins for ESPN and appears on NFL Live, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, and more.

The question feels like a Zen koan such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" or "What do you call the world?"

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

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Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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