Health & beauty

The Pageant That Redefines Beauty

Forget fake tans and laser-white teeth. You're going to fall in love with these beauty queens

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We all rolled our eyes when former Miss USA winners stripped down for an extremely airbrushed ad campaign for PETA (with the supremely ironic tagline, "feel beautiful in your own skin"), but stories like this one make up for the parade of beauty pageant faux pas: Abby Curran, Miss Iowa 2008 and the only disabled woman to ever compete in a Miss USA competition, founded her own beauty pageant for mentally- and physically- challenged girls.

Related: Half-Naked Protestors Hit Victoria's Secret Store

The non-profit pageant, Miss You Can Do It, is celebrating its 10th year on a mission to broaden our notions of beauty by giving handicapped girls and women ages four to 25 the chance to compete in a beauty pageant of their own. Their disabilities range from Down syndrome to spina bifida, but these gals have one thing in common -- pure pluck.

We spend a lot of time doling out beauty wisdom, but pageants like Miss You Can Do It remind us of the Golden Rule: Beauty comes in all shapes, colors, ages, and sizes. These girls are the definition of total beauty -- confident, happy in their own skin, and brave.

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