A TikTok-famous Miss America contestant wore a daring dress inspired by a fantasy book during the pageant
Miss Utahwore a gown inspired by Aelin Galathynius of "Throne of Glass" during Miss America.
- Sasha Sloan's gold, strapless gown matched the description of a nightgown Aelin wears in the
A Miss America contestant paid tribute to one of her favorite
Sloan went viral on TikTok in 2020 for showing off the red dress she wore to compete in Miss Utah, which reminded her of Katniss Everdeen from "The Hunger Games."
Sloan referred to it as the "girl on fire" dress, which was Katniss' nickname in the books.
The video of the dress has over 7 million views to date, and it propelled Sloan to TikTok stardom. She now has over 1 million followers.
Sloan posts about fantasy books on her TikTok, as well as superhero films and her life as Miss Utah. She also told Insider that she started a small business with her sister Brighton Sloan called Archive Sunday that sells wall art inspired by popular works in August of 2020 after her page got popular.
"We have an all-female staff and an avid online base that follows our weekly product releases," Sloan said of the business, adding that the company is already nearing $1 million in revenue.
Because the "girl on fire" dress literally changed her life, Sloan wanted to pay tribute to another one of her favorite female protagonists with her Miss America gown.
She ended up drawing inspiration from Aelin Galathynius, the main character in Sarah J. Maas' "Throne of Glass" series, for her Miss America dress.
The strapless, gold gown was covered in sparkles, and it had a daring thigh-high slit. It captured the character's energy, and it bore resemblance to a gold nightgown Aelin wears in the "Queen of Shadows" installment of Maas' series.
The Aelin dress Sloan selected was designed by Sherri Hill, and she bought it at Regalia Gowns in Orlando, Florida.
Sloan told Insider she felt drawn to wear a dress inspired by Aelin because of their similarities, particularly their shared resilience.
"It took me three attempts over four years at Miss Utah to make it to the Miss America stage," Sloan told Insider. "I was told countless times along the way that despite having a knock-out interview, I didn't have the talent or stage presence to be successful."
"A famous quote from 'Throne of Glass' is, 'You do not yield,' and I think that summarizes the challenges I faced during my journey to achieving my childhood dream of representing Utah at Miss America," she said.
The gown lived up to all of Sloan's expectations.
"The moment I put on the 'Aelin' dress, I started crying," Sloan said. "I knew instantly that it was what I needed to wear."
In some ways, it seemed like Sloan was fated to wear the gown.
"I found a long-forgotten sketch that I had drawn as a teenager of my dream Miss America gown — and it's exactly the same
"Reading has been my escape and comfort my whole life," Sloan said of why the dress was so meaningful to her. "I hope to one day build worlds for other girls to escape to as they imagine themselves having daring adventures. For me, the greatest adventure of my life has been working towards Miss America."
"I couldn't be more proud to represent nerdy girls at the most esteemed women's achievement competition in the nation," she added. "Win or lose, wearing the Aelin gown on national television certainly feels like a crowning achievement."
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