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Miss USA 2015 Contestants Tackle Questions On Abortion, Death Penalty, ISIS, Islam, Cosmetic Surgery And Prove Why They All Deserve To Be The Winner!

     Critical Beauty interviewed several Miss USA 2015 contestants and asked them their views on significant social, moral and political issues. Their responses reflect a group of intelligent and articulate young women who are not afraid to speak their mind. And yes, they catch up with current events and they are in touch with reality. There is no doubt that all these women are beautiful in their own way, but physical beauty can only take you so far. Confidence, brains, wit, and compassion are also sought after, and these young women possess all those traits as well! After all, what's the point of being a beautiful Miss USA if you can't speak your mind, right?

Miss Maryland USA 2015 Mamé Adjei: "It is an unfortunate thing to continue to do, especially when there are preventative measures such as all the different methods of contraceptives out there, but I do not think that any person can tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her own body and life."

Miss District of Columbia USA 2015 Lizzy Olsen: "I do believe that any critical issue involving a woman and her body should not be decided by another entity or governing body. "

Miss Alabama USA 2015 Madison Guthrie: "I think if someone repeatedly has abortions and still refuses to take birth control, then they should be banned from having another abortion. I am always for life! Accidents can happen and you may not be ready to become a mother yet. However, many people can't get pregnant and they would love to adopt your baby if you're not ready. I think going through the experience of giving birth and putting your baby up for an adoption would quickly change one's mind about being on the pill or not. Hopefully, after going through this experience they would either face their consequences and be a mother, or put their baby up for adoption and get on birth control."

Miss Alabama USA 2015 Madison Guthrie: "I can see the positive sides from it. I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to change something about yourself if you don't like it. If it makes you happier and more confident, then why not?"

Miss Louisiana USA 2015 Candice Bennatt: "I have had cosmetic surgery, then five years later I made the decision to reverse the surgical procedure. As I grew and matured I became more comfortable and confident with my body and the way I was made. I do not look down on those who have plastic surgery because I have experienced life with and without cosmetic surgery. I was equally as happy with myself both ways. I believe others should do what is safe and gives them the desired look they are searching for."

Miss Minnesota USA 2015 Jessica Scheu: "I do not believe promoting cosmetic surgery is appropriate. I feel women need to make that decision on their own. I feel (at an appropriate age) that if a woman truly wants plastic surgery (small change, not full body transformation) because it will make her feel more beautiful can be appropriate. But I do not feel we should be promoting cosmetic surgery or putting pressure on young women to alter their bodies. There are enough pressures in this world that we don’t need to be adding more stress on these young ladies. Pageants should focus on empowering women, building confidence, and promoting charities and services rather than altering contestants’ beauty. Interview skills and learning compassion for others through service will take these girls a lot further in their lifetime than a face lift."

Miss Delaware USA 2015 Renee Bull: "I think self-acceptance is most important and is a message we should be promoting. You have to love yourself and exude confidence. A confident and natural woman is far more appealing than manufactured beauty.  I always speak to young woman about self-esteem and how it all starts with accepting your flaws and knowing you are truly beautiful from the inside out."

Miss New Mexico USA 2015 Alexis Duprey: "Again, I think it’s about choices.  If you want to do it, then have it done.  If you don’t, then don’t." 

Miss Pennsylvania USA 2015 Elizabeth Cardillo: "I do believe a person who has a sex reassignment to the opposite sex can be considered a true ‘male’ or ‘female’ after their surgery.  I do believe that some people are born in the wrong body and I fully support them on their journey to find happiness as a member of the opposite sex."

Miss Rhode Island USA 2015 Anea Garcia: "A person who is born male and has a sexual reassignment to become female is not truly a female due to biological reasons. I respect the decision if someone wants to change their sex, but they must accept the fact that human biology is irreversible, at least in this day and age. "

Miss New Mexico USA 2015 Alexis Duprey:  "I do think that sometimes people are trapped in a situation that they may not like.  In reference to the plastic surgery issue, same thing, personal choices.  I hesitate to make judgments on people unless I have walked a mile in their shoes."

Miss Vermont USA 2015 Jackie Croft: "As someone who had to take a second language in schools, I can say that learning Spanish & French made me more culturally tolerant & introduced me to other parts of the world. It’s an invaluable skill that should be mandated in all of our schools."

Miss Wyoming USA 2015 Caroline Scott: "Yes, I feel it could only benefit our students and create more worldly individuals. I do think the students should be able to choose the language they study though."

Miss Nebraska USA 2015 Hoang Kim-Cung: "Absolutely! My first language was Vietnamese and thanks to my Mom’s rules of only speaking Vietnamese in the Cung house and with other Vietnamese speakers, I am fluent in the language and am comfortable reading and writing as well. Every day the world is getting smaller thanks to the Internet and access to mobile phones. Being able to speak another language not only benefits all Americans, but also provides a greater sense of unity. "

Miss New Jersey USA 2015 Vanessa Oriolo: "I completely support laws that require mandatory bilingual education for all students in American schools. I think languages are great and help enrich your life. They allow you to communicate with more people and connect with them on a personal level. Learning another language is also good for the brain! I myself love languages; I am trilingual, speaking English, Spanish, and Italian. I would love to continue to learn more!"

Miss Montana USA 2015 Tahnee Peppenger:  "No, I do not support laws to require mandatory bilingual education.  Although I studied Spanish in high school and college and will encourage my children to do the same, I do not believe litigation nor lawmaking are necessary to promote diversity in education in America’s school system."

Miss District of Columbia USA 2015 Lizzy Olsen: "I do think the death penalty should be abolished. I do not think anyone should have the right to terminate or end someone else's life. The death penalty seems like an easy escape for many of these criminals. I do not think that it is as appropriate a punishment as life in prison, and can often make these criminals martyrs for their causes. Life in prison can often be considered a fate worse than death. Therefore, I do not support the use of the death penalty as a form of punishment." 

Miss Massachusetts USA 2015 Polikseni Manxhari: "After the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013, the love for my city and people makes me say that we should keep it, but at the same time I understand it is cruel and it is best to keep those who commit terrible crimes behind bars so they never hurt another person again."

Miss Nevada USA 2015 Brittany McGowan: "To be completely honest I am undecided on whether I think the death penalty should be abolished or not. In the past I was in support of capital punishment believing that people responsible for heinous crimes, such as rape, torture, treason, kidnapping, or murder should be punishable by death. However, after hearing the Bostonians' opinion against the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon Bomber,  I have begun to question whether it’s the government’s right to take another human’s life. "

Miss Kansas USA 2015 Alexis Railback: "I'm not in favor of the death penalty because I think the only person who can determine if someone should die is God, and as humans I don't think we have the right to take lives. I think people who commit horrendous crimes should spend the rest of their life in prison living with the consequences of what they did."

Miss Vermont USA 2015 Jackie Croft: "No matter the crime they committed, I don’t think anyone should be subjected to the death penalty. Reciprocating violence with more violence creates an endless circle of hatred & death. I think forcing someone to live out the rest of their lives with the guilt & reality of their crimes if a more appropriate solution."

Miss Rhode Island USA 2015 Anea Garcia:  "The US government must respond to ISIS in some way, shape or form. The problem is not so simple where there is a lone solution. These militants are not in one central location, they are spreading further as they invade more areas of the Middle East. Through using technology like Twitter and scaring populations they were able to take over towns and gain supporters faster than analysts ever predicted. ISIS’ methods are unorthodox and we as the United States are entering an extremely steep learning curve dealing with this new type of guerrilla warfare that ISIS has created. The United States and the UN are working together to quell and subdue the egregious dilemma that is occurring across the Atlantic and once and for all to regain stability and peace in that region."

Miss South Carolina USA 2015 Sarah Weishuhn: "I strongly believe that the U.S. government should take action against ISIS. The United States has never been a country to take terrorism lightly and now should not be the time to start. Many innocent lives have been taken across the globe because of this terrorist group and the U.S. needs to take action to help bring this group to a halt." 

Miss Nevada USA 2015 Brittany McGowan: "I think the U.S. government needs to take the threat of ISIS extremely seriously. The Islamic extremist group is responsible for killing innocent, unarmed civilians around the world, and is continuing to grow stronger. Their brazen efforts for recruitment are working; targeting children, specifically young minority girls, into the terrorist group through social media. I was shocked to find out that there were over one thousand westerners that were believed to have traveled to Syria to fight with extremist groups. We need to start taking the threat of ISIS more seriously before they grow into a group that we cannot contain."

Miss West Virginia USA 2015 Andrea Mucino:  "One of ISIS’s biggest weapons is social media. Their ability to use fear in order to recruit people easily radicalized has let ISIS and their causes grow out of control. Although this is not a black and white solution or problem by any means, it should be tackled quickly by a joint effort between multiple nations. One of the things our government could do to begin the response is by denying ISIS the attention that they are so desperate to receive. While it is important to know and understand what is happening all around the world, perhaps if the media concentrated on stories that counter the ideology behind ISIS, their recruitment efforts would be less successful."

Miss Nevada USA 2015 Brittany McGowan:  "I don’t think it is fair to group all Muslims with the Muslim extremist who were responsible for the September 11, terrorist attacks. I think a person’s opinion on whether Islam is a “religion of peace,” or not depends on their perspective. There are extremists in every religion who use their faith to justify acts of violence, tyranny, and terrorism. However, I don’t think it’s fair to characterize all followers of Islam as violent."

Miss Idaho USA 2015 Claira Hollingsworth: "Although acts of terrorism have been committed by Muslims, I think it is important to remember that not all Muslims are terrorists.  It is a very sad thing that some have put a bad name on their religion, but there are many good people who practice this religion.  If one dog has rabies, do you stay away from all dogs for the rest of your life? "

Miss Wisconsin USA 2015 Haley Laundrie: "I think it’s completely unfair to suggest this. I think that terrorists are terrorists, regardless of their religious ideology. Religion is a very personal matter, before it becomes an organizational one. Just because some terrorists choose to associate their religion with these horrible acts of violence, doesn’t suggest all Muslims are taught the Islamic religion in this way or that Islam isn’t a religion of peace."

Miss Rhode Island USA 2015 Anea Garcia: "My thoughts on Muslims committing terrorist attacks and justifying their reasoning by quoting the Koran are absolutely unreasonable. Many cults quote from the Bible for death, specified ways of living, or simply hate against another faith or group of people who are different and this is comparable in a way of majority. The majority of people who follow the path are not crazy extremist in any way, shape or form; most are the exact opposite and are very accepting. This is the same for the majority of followers of the Islamic faith. Yes, the word Islam directly translates to peace and only a small majority of Islamic followers are extremist and outwardly pushing these unspeakable beliefs and actions upon the world."

Miss Louisiana USA 2015 Candice Bennatt: "I have not studied in enough detail the various elements of the Islamic faith. However, I do not believe we can generalize all people who believe in Islam as evil or violent. I have a Muslim friend who loves America just like I do."

Miss West Virginia USA Andrea Mucino 2015: "Nowhere else in the world is there such a mix of such different cultures coming together to live under one nation and one government. As someone who comes from a very international and cultured background, this is something that I am so proud of. Even in the little state of West Virginia our international community is growing and providing so much insight into the world around us by introducing unique foods, languages, and festivals. The United States is truly a melting pot and that is one of the many traits that makes me proud to be a citizen of this country."

Miss Idaho USA 2015 Claira Hollingsworth: "I have a military family. My brother was a United States Marine and my uncle was a Colonel in the Army. I am so incredibly proud to have my freedoms and my family protected by such a force as our United States military."

Miss Nebraska USA 2015 Hoang-Kim Cung: "The United States is one of the most charitable nations in the world. When tragedies strike other countries, including most recently the earthquake in Nepal, Americans dig deep into their pockets and help. The United States’ generosity makes me incredibly proud to be an American."

Miss New Jersey USA 2015 Vanessa Oriolo:  "I am most proud of the freedom and opportunities we have as Americans here in the USA. We take our freedom and these opportunities for granted sometimes but these are things that people from all over the world dream about having."

Miss Minnesota USA 2015 Jessica Scheu: "Our team spirit!  We love our country, what we stand for, and the brave men and women that protect that! I have been a spokesperson for Soldiers' Angels since 2009 and a supporter of our military for as long as I can remember. I am most proud of our military and those who stand with them! We have incredible VA hospitals and support systems for our current military, our veterans, and their families.  We sing the National Anthem with pride and wave our flag nice and high!"

Miss Wyoming USA 2015 Caroline Scott:  "Despite all of the challenges the USA faces and the differences among the people, we stand united. I will never forget the great impact 9-11 had on our country, and how people who were once divided, were able to stand together and express their great love of our country together. "

Miss Maryland USA 2015 Mamé Adjei: "The greatest challenge America faces in my opinion, is rebuilding our economy so that everyone is able to live a decent life, with access to healthcare, lower rates of unemployment and homelessness, and ultimately bridging the wealth gap between the rich and the poor. "

Miss New Mexico USA 2015 Alexis Duprey: "Balancing our budget and becoming completely self sufficient.  Somehow, someway, we need to pay back our debt and refrain from outsourcing as much as possible."

Miss South Carolina USA 2015 Sarah Weishuhn: "I think the biggest challenge we are facing is the expansion of technology and the loss of face-to-face relationships. Most of our days are spent texting, posting pictures on Instagram, or worrying about how many “followers” we have."

Miss Wisconsin USA 2015 Haley Laundrie: "I think the greatest challenge America faces currently, is bipartisanship. In America, the two-party ideology is clearly not working. We can’t come to a compromise on anything, and representatives in both parties are pressured to stick together and to party lines. Once both the Republican and Democratic parties can find common ground and a way to work together, America will be a stronger nation. We need Congress to put bipartisan politics aside and focus on the American public’s best interests."

READ THE FULL INTERVIEWS where they also reveal their thoughts on designer shoes, the ideal man, and the benefits of pageantry. You know... Girl stuff.

on Sunday, July 12, 8:00 PM EST


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