Kirsten Haglund from Michigan was crowned Miss America on Saturday. The 19-year-old was diagnosed with anorexia when she was sixteen and says her disorder was triggered by pressures she felt when she was trying to become a professional ballerina. She plans to spend her "reign" educating others about the dangers of eating disorders.
To Kirsten's credit, she avoided talking specifics about her weight and eating behaviors in her interview with the Associated Press (although the reporter did throw in the shocking info that Kirsten actually ate the chocolates on her pillow in the hotel. OMG!). It would be great if she continued her outreach with the same savvy. We would also love to see her work in partnership with a reputable organization like the National Eating Disorders Association.
And of course we hope that Kirsten takes care of herself in her own recovery. Ballet is not the field to be in when you're trying to overcome anorexia, but the pageant circuit is no picnic either. [AP]