Meet MISS USA 2021

Elle is no stranger to the limelight, having worked as a full-time reporter for WHAS, the ABC affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky, a position which has adequately prepared her for the prestigious platform of Miss USA. Understanding her role as a journalist to be such an essential part of our society, she took on the challenge each day as an opportunity to connect with her community and share new perspectives. Being raised surrounded by all forms of arts, with her father a photographer and her mother a classically trained pianist, Elle sees herself as a true creative person, currently zoning in on her passion for photography, videography and modeling! Inspired by her late grandmother, Elle has taken up the mantle to advocate for cervical cancer awareness and prevention in her current reign.

Self identifying as a musical theater junkie, Elle has been on stage from the ages 8 to 18, making her no stranger to the spotlight. Her rich childhood meanderings in playing the viola, the piano and mastering the instrument of voice, has steeped Elle in her power seat as the all-round creative and ultimate performer.

Growing up in a household surrounded by creativity has definitely shaped Elle’s openness and passion for life. It also happened that her mom was her teacher for four years of her high school tenure – an experience which she wouldn’t trade for the world! Also during her high school stint, Elle was first introduced to the world of pageants as she saw another girl from her school win the Miss Teen USA title! This opened her eyes to the power of confidence and not letting anything hold you back, while also shedding light on the vast opportunities that the world of pageantry could open up for her.

It wasn’t until 2020 though that she let the competition bug bite her hard enough to push her to pursue the title of Miss Kentucky USA, which she won on her first try, then catapulting her right onto the main stage of Miss USA. Elle cites the expertise of her coaches as well as her own commitment to excellence as the secret to her success!

Understanding her position as a journalist in America today as an honor, and an essential part of society, Elle took great pride in making her daily contributions to Kentucky in this way. Now she takes this passion onto the larger platform of Miss USA with the same energy and vigor that she channeled into her daily reporting. In this vein, she is keen on honoring her late grandmother and matriarch of her family, by spreading awareness on cervical cancer prevention and treatment as she wants all women across America to have access to more equitable healthcare, regardless of their status in society.

Words are extremely powerful, so choose what you say carefully. Beyond this however, listen more than you speak. When you’re speaking you’re only repeating what you know but when you’re listening you’re absorbing other perspectives which in turn benefits us all.

BOOK ELLE SMITH