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NC woman wants to reshape beauty standards at Miss North Carolina USA pageant

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- An Asheville woman wants to reshape our view of beauty at this weekend's Miss North Carolina USA pageant, WLOS reports.

Madeline Delp is the reigning Miss Asheville USA.

The day before she takes to the stage in High Point, Madeline previewed the flowing red gown she'll wear at the Miss North Carolina USA pageant.

If she wins, she'll become the first wheelchair user to earn the title.

"So the interesting part is there's a ramp that goes down off of the 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,'" Madeline said.

Moving around with the gown takes a lot of practice.

Madeline says it may make a bold statement, but she's had to practice to learn how to wheel around in it.

She is focused on confidence as well.

"'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," Madeline said.

At ten 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 Madeline paralyzed.

"The woman you see now has battled to overcome so many emotional barriers," Madeline said.

She won the title of Ms. Wheelchair USA 2017.

Now, she hopes her Miss NC USA platform helps reshape our 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," Madeline said.

She 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," Madeline said.

The Miss North Carolina USA pageant begins Friday and wraps up Saturday.

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