When newlywed and reigning Miss Maine USA Juliana Morehouse competes Friday in this year’s Miss USA pageant, she will be doing what no other contestant has done before. It’s all thanks to a change in the rules made last year that allows married women to be part of the competition.
Morehouse was engaged but, as as she says contestants regularly do, she was putting the wedding off until after the Miss Maine pageant. Because if she won eligibility for Miss USA, she wanted to continue on. So she was planning for the nuptials, but with the understanding that everything would be postponed if she won.
Another major change for the pageant world is on the way. Officials behind Miss Universe, which has the same owner as Miss USA, announced this month that it would abolish age limits there, beginning in 2024.
All of this is a big deal because pageants have, traditionally, not been very inclusive.