Dozens of women grabbed their high heels and practiced their public speaking skills to compete for thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Miss Montana USA 2019 and Miss Teen Montana USA were crowned at Missoula's community theater on Sunday.
Miss Montana USA officials say the competition is a platform for women to get their voices heard. For Miss Missoula, the pageant is more than just breaking stereotypes, it was also about empowering others.
"My platform is to inspire transgender people everywhere to be who they are," says Miss Missoula Anita Green. She ran in hopes of becoming the first transgender woman named Miss Montana.
"I don't want anyone who's or anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community that they can't do something that they want to do just because they are different," she said. "I want people to feel inspired."
The women were judged by three categories: the interview, the evening gown and the swimsuit portion. The Miss Teen Montana USA does a fitness portion instead of the swimsuit option.
Officials say more than $170,000 worth of scholarship money was given out between the Miss Montana USA and Miss Teen Montana USA competitions. Nearly 40 women competed on Sunday.
Miss Zootown Grace Zitzer won Miss Montana USA. Miss Musselshell County won Miss Montana Teen USA.
Grace made a video about her campaign: