Autism, mastectomy put edge on Miss America pageant
LAS VEGAS (AFP) - Depending on who wins the crown on Saturday, the next Miss America could be the first ever with autism. Or she could go on to get a double mastectomy.
The 92nd edition of the venerable United States (US) pageant has more of an edge this year, with Miss Montana Alexis Wineman, 18, and Miss District of Columbia Allyn Rose, 24, personifying two major health issues.
Ms Wineman, this year's youngest contestant, was diagnosed at the age of 11 with pervasive developmental disorder including borderline Asperger's syndrome - and she has been outspoken about her life with autism.
"So many people expect autistic people to all be the same, that it's a brain disorder so we can't function in society," Ms Wineman, the first autistic contestant in Miss America history, told Time magazine this week.