After Miss Teen USA relinquished crown, runner-up turns down the title, says ‘I believe this is the right decision’

The runner-up said that she doesn’t exactly know what Voigt and Srivastava went through, but she will always stand for “female empowerment” and “support” them.

Stephanie Skinner, who became the Miss Teen USA 2023 runner-up in September last year, declined to fill the vacant position after the titleholder resigned from the post last week. (Instagram/@thestephanieskinner)

After Indian-origin Miss Teen USA, UmaSofia Srivastava, resigned from her post last week, the runner-up, Stephanie Skinner, has also declined the title. Skinner explained her decision on Instagram, saying that she had made the “right decision” in light of recent events.

The world of pageantry was rocked by a double resignation in the second week of May after Miss USA Noelia Voigt and Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava relinquished their crowns.

Skinner expressed that it “wasn’t an easy decision” for her. She added that she doesn’t have a full understanding of the reasons behind Voigt and Srivastava’s decisions to give up their crowns, but she will always stand for “female empowerment” and “support” them.

Miss Teen New York said that she is grateful for the opportunity that she got and knows “what it means to serve in the best interest of others”.

Skinner further shared that she has “committed to a global research career opportunity in Thailand”, which would require her to live abroad during the summer.

Voigt stepped down on May 6, citing “mental well-being”, while Srivastava, who relinquished the crown two days later, said that her personal values “no longer fully align” with those of the organisation.

Both left comments on Skinner’s post where she announced her decision to “decline” the title. Voigt said, “Ever since I met you have I loved and admired you. You continue to set a great example everywhere you go. Proud of you.” Alongside, she dropped a white heart emoticon.

“I am so grateful to call you my friend. You always leave me in awe of your dedication and integrity,” commented Srivastava.

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