Mekayla Diehl

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Mekayla (Diehl) Eppers
Mekayla, Miss Indiana USA 2014 interview outfit.jpg
Born
Mekayla Fawn Diehl

1988 (age 30–31)
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
TitleMiss Indiana USA 2014
Mrs. Indiana America 2017
Mrs. America 2018
Beauty pageant titleholder
Major
competition(s)
Miss Indiana 2012
(2nd Runner Up)
Miss Indiana USA 2014
(Winner)
Miss USA 2014
(Top 20)
Mrs. America 2018
(Winner)
Mrs. World 2018
(Top 12)

Mekayla (Diehl) Eppers (née Diehl; born 1988) is an American beauty pageant titleholder. She was crowned Miss Indiana USA 2014 and later competed in Miss USA 2014, where she placed in the top twenty. In 2018, Diehl was crowned Mrs. America 2018 and went on to place in the top twelve in South Africa at the Mrs. World competition[1].Diehl is the first woman of Native American descent to represent Indiana at the Miss USA pageant.

Early life[edit]

Mekayla with Chief Irene at the 2014 Zhiibaahaasing Pow Wow

Diehl was born in Elkhart, Indiana in 1988.[2] She is descended from the Ojibwe tribe, a member of the Ontario-based Zhiibaahaasing First Nation through her mother.[2] She was adopted and raised by her grandmother after being sexually abused by a family friend[3]. She went on to graduate from White Pigeon High School in 2007 after having successful sports careers in basket ball, volleyball, and track[4].

Career[edit]

Diehl graduated in 2011 from Albion College with a bachelor's degree of liberal arts in mass communication[5] where she played on the volleyball team and track team[6]. In June 2012 she competed in the Miss Indiana 2012 pageant where she placed second runner-up and won the "Joy of Life" award.[7] In October of that year she competed in the Miss Indiana USA 2013 pageant where she was a semi-finalist.[8]

In 2012, Mekayla accepted a position at Froggy 102.7 WLEG in Goshen, Indiana as the production director and afternoon DJ until the station's format changed in 2013.[9]

In October 2013, Diehl won the Miss Indiana USA 2014 title which qualified her to compete in the Miss USA 2014 pageant the following year, where she placed in the top twenty.[10][11] She is the first contestant of Native American descent to represent Indiana at the Miss USA pageant.[2]

Diehl, who is 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall, has been praised for being a "normal", healthy size 4 and for not being skinny, a common stereotype of beauty pageant contestants.[11][12] Nia Sanchez, the winner of the 2014 pageant, stated that Diehl is no different than the other athletic pageant contestants she competed against. "I felt like this year we had a really healthy class of girls, and that’s what the pageant is about, not being skinny and having the clothes fall off your bones, but being fit, healthy and active. And Mekayla is," she said. "We were at the gym working out together. She was telling me how she does different sports. We all do." Diehl has ignited a wave of positivity encouraging women to be healthy and not go to extremes of having unhealthy habits to be skinny.[13]

Though Diehl is celebrated for being a healthy role model encouraging young women to be active and healthy, a few critics created backlash by stating that even though she represents something new she isn't normal.[14] Their main argument was that the average American woman, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is 5-foot-3 and 166 pounds with a size 12 or 14 waist size and has a BMI of 33.[14]

She received coverage from all the major networks,[15] interviewed by Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Fox and Friends,[16] The Today Show,[10] Good Morning America,[17] Entertainment Tonight.[18] and WNDU[19]

She went on to gain her real estate license with Century 21 Affiliated serving the Northern Indiana region.[20] 
Head Shot by Meagan Gilbert Photography

Mekayla competed and won the title of Mrs. Indiana America in April of 2017 and went on to win Mrs. America 2018 in August at the Westgate in Las Vegas.[21]

In December of 2018, Mekayla launched her new pageant coaching business titled Reign Pageantry.[22]

Personal life[edit]

In November of 2015, she married Christopher Eppers of Elkhart, Indiana.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Correspondent, Jef Rietsma | Journal. "Eppers falls short in bid for 'Mrs. World' crown". Sturgis Journal - Sturgis, MI. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  2. ^ a b c ICTMN (2014). "Miss Indiana USA Mekayla Diehl Is 'Normal' ... and Native American!". Indian Country Today Media Network. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  3. ^ Sloma, Tricia. "Local Miss USA contestant talks about overcoming sexual abuse". www.wndu.com. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  4. ^ "MHSSA Archive" (PDF).
  5. ^ Organization, Miss Universe. "Mekayla Diehl". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  6. ^ Correspondent, Jef Rietsma | Sturgis Journal. "World expands for Mrs. America – a Michigan native". The Daily Telegram - Adrian, MI. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  7. ^ Fisher, Derek (3 July 2012). "MerrieBeth Cox crowned Miss Indiana 2012". Current in Zionsville.
  8. ^ Fisher, Derek (22 October 2012). "Pageant winners crowned in Carmel". Current in Carmel.
  9. ^ NEWS, A. STAFF REPORTTHE GOSHEN. "Radio station format to change". Goshen News. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  10. ^ a b Kim, Eun Kyung. "Is size-4 Miss Indiana the new 'normal'? Miss USA weighs in". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Is size-4 Miss Indiana the new 'normal'? Miss USA weighs in on the debate". Today Show. 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  12. ^ Cunningham, Erin (11 June 2014). "No, Miss Indiana's Body Isn't 'Normal'". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  13. ^ Will Higgins (2014). "Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl: 'I'm OK with 'normal". INDY Star. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  14. ^ a b Amy Hubbard (2014). "Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl's body is not 'normal' or 'average'". LA Times. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
  15. ^ "Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl on becoming a social media phenom". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl: 'I didn't go to extremes' for my body - Fox News". 10 June 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl 'Blown Away' by Being Called 'Normal'". ABC News. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl on Becoming a Social Media Phenom". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  19. ^ "Miss Indiana Mekayla Diehl Responds to Curvy Figure Comments". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  20. ^ Number 574-215-0415, Phone; meppers@c21affiliated.com, E.-mail Address; Cell: 574-215-0415; Main: 574-293-2121; 1001 Parkway Ave, Suite 17Elkhart. "Mekayla Eppers, REALTOR | CENTURY 21 Affiliated | Michiana Area". c21affiliated.com. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  21. ^ Franklin, Tom (2017-08-28). "Elkhart County's Mekayla Diehl-Eppers crowned Mrs. America 2017". 95.3 MNC. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  22. ^ "Meet Mekayla | Pageant Coach". Reign Pageantry. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  23. ^ "The Wedding Story of Mekayla & Chris Eppers | WeddingDay Magazine". weddingday-online.com. Retrieved 2019-02-27.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Emily Hart
Miss Indiana USA
2014
Succeeded by
Gretchen Reece