Reasons For Oklahoma's Miss America Success Are Varied

Sunday, February 4th 2007, 3:56 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The second win of the Miss America crown by an Oklahoma woman in as many years is prompting some to ask an obvious question -- what are the reasons for the Sooner State's high rate of success in that competition?

Those in the pageant industry say the answers could include the state's American Indian and pioneer heritage and higher self-discipline.

Lauren Nelson of Lawton became Miss America 2007 on Tuesday, succeeding Jennifer Berry of Tulsa.

Berry and Nelson join four other Oklahomans in having worn the Miss America crown, tying Oklahoma with California and Ohio atop the all-time list.

Pageant consultant Sharon Cullison from Norman says some luck is involved but that any pageant winner is going to have to be pretty.

Beauty-salon operator Charles Gosvener of Tulsa says he thinks the South, including Oklahoma, produces prettier women than other parts of the country, in part because of the state's American Indian heritage.

Cullison says the strong Oklahoma state pageant system also provides a boost.