One handed beauty queen vows to raise awareness of disability

One-handed beauty queen vows to raise awareness of disability
Nicole Kelly won $10,000 (£5,846) in scholarship money when she became Miss Iowa (Picture: Barcroft Media)

Beauty pageants have long been scorned as old fashioned, sexist and promoting an unhealthy body image.

However here is a story we can all get behind, because one-handed pageant contestant Nicole Kelly has been crowned Miss Iowa and is set to represent her state at the 2014 Miss America competition.

She wrote about her disability in her official Miss Iowa biography, saying: ‘As I grew up I learned to counterbalance the initial stares I received from people with an outgoing personality that would not give into no.’

Ms Kelly graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2012 having majored in theatre.

She has recently undergone an internship on Broadway in New York where she hopes to become a stage manager in the famous East Coast theatre district.

Nicole Kelly, we’re behind you all the way.

DAVENPORT, IA - UNDATED: Nicole Kelly, crowned the 2014 Miss Iowa, enjoys exercising with a trainer at a gym in Davenport, Iowa. A beauty queen with one arm is using her title to raise awareness of disability. Nicole Kelly beat off hundreds of rivals to take the Miss Iowa 2014 crown and is now hoping to encourage children with disabilities to pursue their dreams. The 23-year-old, from Davenport in Iowa, America, was born without a left forearm, but has never let anything hold her back. Now Nicole uses her position to speak about disability in schools and supports a programme providing art opportunities for people with special needs. PHOTOGRAPH BY Incredible Features / Barcroft Media UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W
Nicole’s goal is to become a stage manager on Broadway(Picture: Barcroft Media)

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