Monday, March 27, 2023

Why Twitter Went Crazy When Mekayla Diehl Took the Stage

This past Friday I delivered my new motivational message ‘More Than a Miracle’ at an event to benefit Bashor Children’s Home, an organization that does wonderful work with troubled teens and their families.
Alongside me for this event was a young lady who had made a national impact recently in the Miss USA pageant. Her name is Mekayla Diehl and in meeting her and getting to know more of her story, I am inspired!

Charlie and Meykela
Charlie and Mekayla

In the Miss USA pageant, when she came out as Miss Indiana for the swim suit competition, America was stunned to see that she wasn’t a toothpick like so many other contestants. The 5’8″ size 4 Diehl created a huge Twitter stir with people saying this was so positive because so many young girls feel pressure to be thin.
“Miss Indiana shows you don’t have to be super skinny to be beautiful,” tweeted @Hi_ItsKenna.
“Finally a contestant that’s not a bag of bones,” tweeted @terraj21. And this from @k_mck12: “The fact Miss Indiana is not a complete twig makes me really happy.”
She made the Top 20, but not the Top 10.
While there was positivity in that, what really impresses me about Mekayla is what she has overcome in life. Both of her parents were drug addicts so she was raised by her grandmother.
When she was eight years old she was sexually abused. The man who did this was a family friend and someone they trusted enough to leave alone with her. Today, she has no idea where he is and doesn’t care, but she has forgiven him. She says forgiveness and moving on are two foundations in her life.
It was after it happened that she moved in with her grandmother, who eventually adopted her. Despite everything that had happened to her, she still had a dream as a little girl. One day she turned to her grandmother and said she wanted to be in a pageant. She won the pageant in her little town, and then two weeks later was named queen of the local county fair.
She kept working hard until she won Miss Indiana.
Mekayla Diehl

Her mission now is to bring attention to child abuse awareness causes and helped the kids at Bashor Children’s Home. She didn’t get the help right away that she needed. Eventually, her grandmother was able to get her to counseling. She wants kids today to be able to get help right away.
“I hope…,” she told local television station WNDU, “I hope they see that their future isn’t decided by their parents or what their past decisions are. That means the most to me. Because I hope they can look at me and see that, yes, I’m a pageant girl, but I had a dream and I worked very, very hard for it. And I didn’t let my past define me.”
As I continued to learn more about this inspiring young person, I also found out that she is Ojibwe, a member of the Ontario-based Zhiibaahaasing First Nation. She is the first Native American to be Miss Indiana.
It was an honor to deliver a motivational program at an event with her, and I hope her story inspires you as you go through this week!
Charlie Adams is an Oxford native, graduate of Lafayette High School and a member of the Ole Miss Class of 1985. Adams is the author of 4 books on positive attitude and peak performance, including 2013′s “How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!” and “Stoke the Fire Within.” His books and motivational keynotes and seminars are designed to make sure events reach their objectives and to help create winning cultures. Email him at: