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Interview with Miss Tennessee USA
28 Apr 2017

Interview with Miss Tennessee USA

Originally published on April 27, 2017 by Melanie Balakit , USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee

Miss Tennessee USA Alee-Sutton Hethcoat sat down with an interview with Melanie Balakit for The Tennessean, check it out below!

Allee-Sutton Hethcoat takes life one day at a time.

For the Franklin native, it's the only way to juggle all her responsibilities.

Hethcoat is Miss Tennessee 2017. On top of pageant duties, she's a law student and actress.

She has two law final exams before flying to Las Vegas to compete in Miss USA.

We sat down with Hethcoat to talk school, self-confidence and bullying:

You were crowned Miss Tennessee USA back in October. What's the last half year been like for you?

It's been insanely busy trying to manage going to law school and working and now being a title holder — it's been like three full-time jobs. I've been very busy but I've enjoyed every minute of it. As a title holder, I've had the opportunity to get into our community and get involved in so many incredible organizations, like the Nashville Rescue Mission, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. I am an ambassador for Southwestern Advantage Publishing and do a lot of work with child literacy.

You're in your final year of law school. What do you want to do in the legal field?

I'd love to be an entertainment lawyer and I would love to negotiate contracts on behalf of women to make sure they're receiving equal pay as men.

How do you strike a balance between all the activities you do?

It's difficult at times...I really do just have to take things day by day. For example, right now I'm having to take two more finals before Miss USA, so I'm devoting a lot more attention to my exams and studying.

What does confidently beautiful mean to you?

There's still so many stereotypes about pageantry, but I have to commend the Miss Universe organization. They're under new ownership and they're working so hard to eliminate some of those stereotypes. Confidently beautiful means there is no one definition of beauty. There's no one pageant girl or pageant body anymore. And we're seeing that reflected in the changes we're seeing in the organization. In Miss Universe, we saw diverse bodies in the top finalists and the contestants...I'm one of the shorter contestants. I've never been somebody who's been super fit, but I've used this journey to talk about health and fitness in schools. I'm seeing that my fellow title holders are doing that as well.

Pageantry is just like anything, it's all in how the titleholder uses it.

Anything else to add?

We did get a lot of questions about swimsuit competition and evening gown, and a lot of negative comments. I just want to encourage any young people that are watching this, with comments like that that you receive, cyber bullying and negativity, we need to know how to appropriately handle that. It's an epidemic in the United States. And I encourage people to go to stopbullying.gov and educate themselves about that.

What will you do after the competition?

Hopefully I'm living in New York City as Miss USA...If that's not the outcome, then I'm going to come back to Tennessee and finish out my reign, and get even more involved in the community...I will sit the bar in February and practice as an attorney here in Nashville.