miss america mallory hagan Miss America Mallory Hagan: 'I needed to find myself'Miss New York Mallory Hytes Hagan, 23, was crowned the 2013 Miss America on Saturday (Jan. 12) — but this New York representative started out as a Southern belle.

Hagan says she moved from Alabama to New York City as soon as she turned 18 because she “needed to find [her]self.”

“I just knew that the energy of NYC was something that I really
loved,” she tells the AP. “I was always a little more
liberal-thinking than my hometown. And I just knew that I needed to get
out for a little bit, and I needed to find myself.”

And find herself she did, accomplishing a goal she’s had since she was a young girl.

“We’re super excited, super exhilarated, super proud of her. We’re not extremely surprised, either,” says her father, Phil Hagan.

Upon winning, Hagan receives not just the crown, but a $50,000 college scholarship and a year as a spokesperson and role model. Hagan says her platform is child sex abuse, which was an issue Hagan’s mother encouraged her to advocate for.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."