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Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters & Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Share Same Ideals About Pageants

Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters & Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Share Same Ideals About Pageants

Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has something to say about what most people think about beauty pageants — you’re wrong.

Speaking with E! News, the new Miss Universe from South Africa shattered a long-running beauty pageant stigma.

“You can be beautiful and you can be smart and you can make a meaningful difference in your community, in your country, in your world,” Demi-Leigh shared.

It’s something that Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff agrees with.

Speaking with JJJ back in the summer after she was crowned, Sophia told us that every single girl in a pageant anywhere knows that it’s stepping stone to make a huge difference in the world, and she’s one of them.

“What means so much about this sisterhood and be inducted into this kind of club is that all these women who have gone through this process are extremely successful in their careers,” she told us about being welcomed. “There are lawyers, there are women involved in politics and the entertainment industry and are just really successful in everything they do.”

Sophia added, “I think that for me, that is the most exciting thing, knowing I’m going to be surrounded by successful women who are making a difference in the world.”

Check out more pics below of the new Miss Universe during her visit to Build Series in New York City…

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Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Welcomes Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters To The Family

Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Welcomes Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters To The Family

Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff shines in her silvery Sherri Hill gown at the 2017 Miss Universe Pageant held at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Sunday night (November 26) in Las Vegas.

The reigning Miss Teen USA stepped out for the event to root on Miss USA Kara McCullough in the competition, and also said goodbye to Iris Mittenaere as the reigning Miss Universe.

Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, won the event and will take over for Iris for the coming year.

“It’s not every night that you get to watch your big sis @realkaramccullough work it on the Miss Universe stage, AND witness your other big sis @irismittenaeremf crown the new Miss Universe @demileighnp from South Africa,” Sophia wrote on her personal Instagram.

She adds, “A truly magical evening, welcome to the family Demi!!”

Check out all the pics of Sophia, Demi-Leigh, plus judge Lele Pons, inside the gallery now!

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Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Meets Missouri’s Miss Amazing Sr Stephanee Corcoran! (Exclusive)

Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Meets Missouri’s Miss Amazing Sr Stephanee Corcoran! (Exclusive)

Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez Heithoff got the opportunity to meet the reigning Miss Amazing Sr. this past week!

The University of Kansas City student and reigning title holder headed back to St. Louis for the Miss Missouri USA and Teen USA pageant activities and got to meet Stephanee Corcoran backstage at the event.

Speaking with JJJ earlier, Sophia opened up about hoping to advocate for people with developmental disabilities, specifically Down’s syndrome — which Stephanee has.

“My aunt Joanne is in her 40s and she has Down’s syndrome. I’ve grown up alongside her and my mom is her legal guardian, so she is essentially like a sister to me,” Sophia told us. “I’ve seen her through all stages of her life and the struggles that she has had.”

“I know that my aunt has a supportive family, but there a lot out there who don’t and they have disabilities like Down’s syndrome. When you lack that support from family it’s hard to have a high quality of life,” she continues.

“I really have taken an initiative to try and help people with disabilities and have researched a lot of issues, which a lot were in Kansas City and have worked with a lot of different agencies who provide care for them and given this research and talked to legislators in Missouri about how we can help and what issues these people are facing and what policies we can create to further increase their quality of life.”

It’s one of the top things on Sophia‘s to-do list while she’s Miss Teen USA this year.

“I’m really looking forward to really making a difference and giving back to a community, which has given so much to me,” she added. “A lot of life lessons that I’ve learned have been from by aunt Joanne and I think that everyone should be able to experience that some time in their life.”

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Storm Reid Attends Her First Fashion Show at NYFW 2017

Storm Reid Attends Her First Fashion Show at NYFW 2017

Storm Reid is pretty in pink satin for her first ever fashion show during New York Fashion Week on Tuesday (September 12).

The Wrinkle in Time actress sat front row for the Bad Butterfly fashion show.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Storm Reid

Meanwhile, Miss Teen USA 2017 Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff returned again from Missouri to attend another show along with Miss USA Kara McCullough, and Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere.

Sophia actually flew back to her home state to attend classes after attending her own first fashion shows over the weekend.

10+ pics inside of Storm Reid and Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff

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Lili Reinhart Has Fun With Florals at Christian Siriano's Runway Show at NYFW

Lili Reinhart Has Fun With Florals at Christian Siriano's Runway Show at NYFW

Lili Reinhart is lovely in a floral gown outside the Christian Siriano show during New York Fashion Week over the weekend in New York City.

The Riverdale star sat front row after checking out the Dion Lee fashion show as well, with Alycia Debnam-Carey.

The Runaways star Ginny Gardner was also see out this weekend, attending the Cushnie Et Ochs and Jill Stuart fashion shows.

Meanwhile, Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff was spotted at the Son Jung Wan fashion show before heading back to Missouri to resume her freshman year of college.

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Shay Mitchell, Madison Beer & Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Take On NYFW 2017

Shay Mitchell, Madison Beer & Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Take On NYFW 2017

Shay Mitchell rocks a cream jumpsuit at the Cushnie Et Ochs fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 8, 2017 in New York City.

The former Pretty Little Liars star joined Jenna Dewan, Madison Beer and more on the front row.

Just a few days before, Shay was also seen at the Taste of Travel event and at the Cinq A Sept presentation at Beekman Hotel.

Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff was spotted at her first fashion show, the Galtiscopio runway presentation held at The Dream Downtown Hotel.

Check out all the pics of Shay, Madison and Sophia below!

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Miss Teen USA 2017 Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Had The Sweetest Moment with Miss Teen Oregon Vanessa Matheson (Exclusive)

Miss Teen USA 2017 Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Had The Sweetest Moment with Miss Teen Oregon Vanessa Matheson (Exclusive)

It’s almost been a month since Miss Teen USA 2017 Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff was crowned.

Right before her name was announced, the 17-year-old student and activist shared an amazing moment with Miss Teen Oregon Vanessa Matheson and JJJ has the exclusive story about their amazing friendship.

“I think we were both extremely shocked to be up there,” Sophia told us when we spoke to her after the event.

She adds, “She had been such a sweetheart and always so kind to me the entire week. I am so glad I got to share this experience with her.”

And their friendship doesn’t stop there — Sophia actually got a ton of help from Vanessa to prepare for college.

“She is awesome. She’s going to be a sophomore at the University of Oregon and I’m going into the University of Kansas as a freshman soon, so Vanessa has just been helping me alot with preparing for college,” Sophia adds.

“[She's been] giving me some advice with how to balance being a titleholder and go to school at the same time.”

Friendship goals!

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Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Is Determined To Get Rid of This Pageant Misconception (Exclusive)

Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff Is Determined To Get Rid of This Pageant Misconception (Exclusive)

Miss Teen USA Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff enjoyed her entire trip to New York City last week — and these pics prove it!

Sophia took a tour of the New York Harbor, catching glimpses of her favorite sites before returning home to Kansas City afterwards.

JJJ had the chance to speak with Sophia before she left and just like us, she wants to rid everyone’s minds about one particular misconception about pageants and the people who compete in them.

“The misconception that beauty pageant winners are just beautiful and don’t have any other substance to them,” is her number one.

Sophia tells us, “I really love the direction that the Miss Universe organization is going in where they are focusing not only on the exterior but the interior as well. These girls have passions and causes that they care about and they’re intelligent and kind, wonderful people on the inside and out.”

She adds, “I can personally attain to the amount of intelligence that our Miss USA has — I mean, she’s a nuclear scientist. She is an incredible role model, not only for me, but a lot of other girls out there. Our Miss Universe is wanting to be a dental surgeon.”

“These are really, really incredible women who are making a difference in the world and I think that’s amazing.”

There's no place like home. I'm humbled and honored to return as #MissTeenUSA ??

A post shared by Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff (@missteenusa) on

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