UmaSofia Srivastava Gives Up Her Miss Teen USA Crown, Following Miss USA

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UmaSofia Srivastava, who was crowned Miss Teen USA in 2023, resigned her post on Wednesday after “months of grappling with this decision,” two days after Noelia Voigt stepped down as Miss USA.

“After careful consideration, I have decided to resign as I find that my personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization,” Ms. Srivastava wrote on Instagram, without elaborating.

Ms. Srivastava and Miss USA did not respond to requests for comment.

Representing New Jersey, Ms. Srivastava was crowned the winner of the Miss Teen USA pageant, which was held in Reno, Nev., in September.

Her bio on the Miss Teen USA website describes Ms. Srivastava as “the first Mexican Indian Miss New Jersey Teen USA,” adding that she “hopes to become a U.N. ambassador.” She did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

On Monday, after Ms. Voigt announced her resignation as Miss USA to focus on her mental health, online speculation abounded about the reason for her decision. Pageant fans noticed that the first letters of the first 11 sentences in Ms. Voigt’s statement spelled: “I am silenced.”

After Ms. Srivastava’s statement, many people showed their support for the two women in hundreds of comments posted on Instagram and on other social media platforms.

Laylah Rose, the chief executive and president of Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, said in an email on Wednesday that she and the organization had received support since the resignations.

“I know all of us who love the program want to rush out and do something,” Ms. Rose said. “My goal is to provide truly helpful steps we can take together.” She did not elaborate what those steps might entail.

“Our all-encompassing goal at Miss USA is to celebrate and empower women,” Ms. Rose said. She added that the organization’s goal was to inspire women and to preserve integrity while doing so.

Miss Teen USA responded to Ms. Srivastava’s resignation on Instagram, thanking her for her time in the role. The organization said it would soon announce the crowning of a new Miss Teen USA but didn’t elaborate beyond that.

“We respect and support UmaSofia’s decision to step down from her duties,” the organization wrote. “The well-being of our titleholders is a top priority.”

Miss USA posted a similar response to Ms. Voigt’s statement earlier in the week.

Other Miss USA contestants came out to support Ms. Voigt on Wednesday. Derby Chukwudi, Miss New Jersey USA 2023, posted a statement on Instagram in which she stated that the majority of the members of the Miss USA 2023 class supported Ms. Voigt’s decision.

The statement also asked the Miss USA organization to release Ms. Voigt from her nondisclosure agreement so that she could speak up about her experiences.

“Our goal is to give Noelia her voice back,” the statement read. “We are asking for full transparency for contestants in the class of 2024 and beyond.”

Ms. Voigt and Ms. Srivastava supported each other’s resignation posts, wishing each other well.

“I love you so much, Noelia,” Ms. Srivastava wrote. “You are incredibly strong.”

For now, Ms. Srivastava wrote, she will focus on finishing 11th grade and on applying to colleges and will continue running her blog, That’s Fan Behavior.

“While this was certainly not how I saw my reign coming to a close, I am excited to continue my advocacy for education and acceptance,” Ms. Srivastava wrote.

“At the end of the day, I am so lucky to have had the privilege of this experience,” Ms. Srivastava added, “but if this is just a chapter, I know that the story of my life will truly be incredible.”





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