The Sikh-American rising star makes history with her landmark beauty pageant win.
By Tom McLean
For the first time in history, a South Asian woman has won the National All-American Miss beauty pageant. The momentous occasion took place in Orlando, Florida on 29th November 2020 when 23 year-old Sikh-American, Serene Singh, who represented her hometown of Colorado, went up against over 700 fierce competitors for the illustrious title. As a former winner of America’s Junior Miss and Miss Colorado Teen, Singh is a strong advocate for girls’ education, diversity and representation, and women’s rights.
Speaking to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Singh credits her Sikh identity as a major source of inspiration in her efforts to win this prestigious competition, as well as the unwavering support of her mother, who originally immigrated to the U.S. as a newlywed. “I woke up realizing my dream of many years is now my reality. I have so many exciting plans and goals for this year to work on behalf of girls and women across the country amidst a global pandemic and I am 100% prepared to dedicate my whole self to lending my voice to causes that matter most to me.”
Singh also talks about her experiences as the one of the only Sikh students attending her school, and how she used to view her differences as a burden, but soon grew to understand that her differences were really a superpower that allowed her to stand out. Now that she’s been crowned, Singh hopes to make use of her new public recognition by lending her voice to important causes. One of the ways she plans to do so is by continuing to run her own initiative called The Serenity Project, a non-profit which aims to empower women and challenge unhealthy standards of beauty.
In addition to her impressive win, Singh obtained her undergraduate degree from The University of Colorado and also received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for her dedication to public service; the Fulbright Recipient, which is considered one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world; and she is a Rhodes Scholar, one of only 32 students from the United States who were given scholarships for the University of Oxford. Just weeks before her historic win, she graduated from the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government with a Masters in Public Policy.