More

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
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

Keep Reading Show less
True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

via Saturday Night Live / YouTube

Through 46 seasons, "Saturday Night Live" has had its ups and downs. There were the golden years of '75 to '80 and, of course, the early '90s when everyone in the cast seemed to eventually become a superstar.

Then there were the disastrous '81 and '85 seasons where the show completely lost its identity and was on the brink of cancellation.

Keep Reading Show less
via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

Keep Reading Show less