ASHEVILLE, N.C. (CNN) — A North Carolina woman wants to reshape the view of beauty at this weekend’s Miss North Carolina USA Pageant.
The day before she takes to the stage in High Point, Madeline Delp gave a preview of the flowing red gown she’ll wear at the pageant.
If she wins, she’d become the first wheelchair user to earn the title.
“So the interesting part is there’s a ramp that goes down off of the like catwalk, so the first year when I did it I went so fast, I was like, ‘I’m gonna like run right off the stage,'” Delp said.
Moving around with the gown takes a lot of practice.
“Makes a bold statement but that I’ve had to work really hard to learn to wheel around in,” Delp said.
Confidence is the name of the game.
“‘You are deserving of the crown,’ and that’s a battle that I’ve had because I’m different and I obviously have different challenges,” Delp said.
At 10-years-old she and her mother were in the car together when they were hit by a truck.
The impact crushed her spine and left Delp paralyzed.
“The woman you see now has battled to overcome so many emotional barriers,” Delp said.
No barriers too big. She won the title of Ms. Wheelchair USA 2017.
Now she hopes her Miss NC USA platform helps reshape society’s view of beauty.
“There’s still many ideas of this cookie-cutter image of what beauty represents and I want to be able to have that really open conversation,” Delp said.
This contestant goes to the pageant with far more than a fashion statement.
“I am doing this to show people that no matter what your situation, or what your challenge, you can shine bright,” Delp said.
The Miss North Carolina USA Pageant begins Friday and wraps up Saturday.
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