5 Facts About Miss USA 2012 (And LGBT Ally) Olivia Culpo

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Olivia Culpo Miss USA 2012 Rhode Island band geek transgenderLast night, while Kristen Stewart made out with herself and Chris O'Dowd brought things to a dark place on Girls, there was another monumental event: Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss USA 2012! The Boston University sophomore moved up the ranks after winning Miss Rhode Island, winning over judges with her openness about transgender contestants as well as her musical talent. So, what else should you know about the pageant queen?

1. Just like last year's Miss USA Alyssa Campanella, Olivia is a self-described “nerd.” Whether this is just pandering to the newly influential geek community isn't clear, but she clearly has an affinity for music. Olivia started studying cello in the second grade and has played at Carnegie Hall and Boston Symphony Hall. She was also one of the few contestants who could actually name the Vice President of the United States, so she at least pays attention.

2. Celebrity judge Rob Kardashian asked Olivia a question submitted by a Twitter follower: Whether she thought it would be fair for a transgender woman to win over someone born female. Olivia wasn't thrown by the question and wasted no time in answering,

“I do think that that would be fair, but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women, but today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that because I believe it's a free country.”

Considering that beauty pageants have their fair share of criticism from feminist groups for pushing a specific feminine ideal, it's refreshing that people on all sides are open to different definitions of what it is to be a woman.

Photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

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