In a truly transformative year as Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers tells HollywoodLife the biggest change in herself.
The first Miss USA from the state of Nebraska, Sarah Rose Summers, will crown her successor on May 2, live from Reno Tahoe, NV. “I never expected to win Miss USA, not at all,” she reflected on the HollywoodLife podcast. “I had never even spoken into existence me becoming Miss USA. And so when I won, I just knew that everything this year was going to be a cherry on top of my top 15 goal at Miss USA.” The blonde beauty, who worked as a Child Life Specialist before winning the title, brought her contagious smile to the Miss USA brand and served throughout the year — traveling to Mexico City with SmileTrain, visiting Seacrest Studios in children’s hospitals and competing in Miss Universe in Thailand.
Through the beautiful, “12 out of 10” times Sarah Rose experienced, she also faced challenges throughout the year, which she said helped her grow as a person. “Sarah Rose as an emotional and spiritual and physical person I don’t think has changed much this year, but my grittiness and my thick skin has changed,” she admitted. “I still am the same joyful person, but I’ve learned how to take criticism now at a different level because, I mean I was in the spotlight literally overnight. I went from about 9,000 followers to 100,000 plus overnight after I won. So, that also means, the more the love, the more hate.”
“It’s only strengthened me. I’ve learned that my identity can’t come from anything other than who I know I am. And then on the days when that’s really hard, you have to lean on your family and your friends. So, I’ve grown in that way to be able to ask for help and persevere through the icky stuff,” she continued. Sarah Rose faced fat-shamers following her walk on the Sherri Hill runway at New York Fashion Week in September 2018. A former pilates instructor and advocate for self-love and body image, Sarah Rose made the decision to speak out against the bullies. “Before I competed at the state level, I wanted to have a healthy relationship with food and fitness, because I wanted to be a realistic, true young woman example to all of the young girls, even men and women of all ages watching me,” she explained. “And so that’s absolutely what I did.”
Now, as she prepares to crown the next Miss USA, Sarah Rose is planning what to do next. The Nebraska native will make her official move to New York City after living there for a year as Miss USA, and following their wedding in October, her fiancé Conner Combs will join her. The pair were engaged following Sarah’s Top 20 placement at Miss Universe in December. Additionally, the 24-year-old just released her own podcast titled “More Than A Crown,” where she interviews friends, family members and influencers about their lives.
Be sure to tune into the Miss USA competition on May 2nd at 8 PM EST on FOX! Listen to the full HollywoodLife podcast interview with Sarah Rose, here!