Miss Idaho Wins with Insulin Pump on Full Display

Illustration for article titled Miss Idaho Wins with Insulin Pump on Full Display

Last week, Sierra Sandison took home the title of Miss Idaho in the Miss America competition, but in the swimsuit section of the competition, there was one thing that really set her apart: her insulin pump.

Illustration for article titled Miss Idaho Wins with Insulin Pump on Full Display

Sandison was diagnosed with diabetes in 2012, but at first denied it even when it really affected her blood sugar level. Through pageants, she gained confidence (which would probably have the adverse affect on me) and was inspired to flaunt her pump by a previous Miss America. She posted on her blog:

That decision took me two long years to make. When I first started competing, I was using injections rather than a pump. I didn't want people to see a weird-tubey-machine-thing attached to me all the time, and could not wrap my head around having a medical device on my body for the rest of my life.

Then, I heard about Nicole Johnson: Miss America 1999. She wore her pump while competing at Miss America. My whole perspective changed.


This is particularly cool in light of Bethany Townsend, the woman in the UK whose photos of her sporting her colostomy bag went viral last month. And it's probably some good press for the Miss America pageant since they crowned the wrong patent winner—in two different states. Maybe one day, non-beautiful people in non-bikinis will be celebrated for openly and honestly dealing with the same medical conditions that affect their lives as well, and we can put a stop to such stigma. Naahh.

Image via Miss Idaho Org.

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We're really going to praise a beauty contestant in a bikini for not hiding her insulin pump? This feels extremely neoliberal and quasi-feminist at best. I mean, good for her for not hiding it, I guess? But it's a freaking beauty pageant. She is being judged on stage in a bikini. We want this to be the inspiration for kids with diabetes? Look, girls! Don't worry about which scientists or philosophers have insulin pumps! Who cares?