Miss USA 2021 was chosen on Monday night from 51 contestants – the winner was Elle Smith, a journalist for WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky. The first runner-up was Caitlyn Vogel, Miss North Dakota, and the second runner-up was Ashley Carino, Miss Florida. Smith will represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant on December 12 in Eilat, Israel.

Smith said that she believes the pageant could be more inclusive. Specifically, it could include more women of different body types. Smith herself is black, and is not the first black woman to win the title.

Despite her advocacy for women of different body types, Smith supports the swimsuit competition aspect of the pageant, noting that it celebrates health and wellness.

Smith honored her deceased grandmother by advocating for cervical cancer awareness and prevention during her acceptance speech.