Glamour recently published an article on the changes to Miss America's competition format. Nicole was asked to give her option:
"What Former Beauty Queens Really Think About Pageant Swimsuit Competitions
At the suggestion of a friend, Nicole Kelly decided to pursue a life of pageantry. After winning her first local pageant at 22, she won the title of Miss Iowa just one year later. Then it was time to tackle the Miss America stage. “The most challenging part of pageantry is amazing competition. The girls who compete are incredibly talented and well-spoken. You never have any idea who might win.”
Nicole was born with only one hand, so she often used pageants to promote awareness about people with disabilities. “My disability gave me a fantastic platform to talk about within a world of beauty,” she said. “I broke the mold of [that] beauty standard when I walked on that stage.” As a pageantry pioneer herself, Nicole recognizes the potential positive outcomes of Miss America’s latest decision. “Now I think this change will [encourage people of] all shapes, sizes, and abilities to share their story. Modeling was never my end objective—sharing my message of disability and inclusion around the United States was my goal.”"