Karlie Hay had a lot to celebrate after being crowned the newest Miss Teen USA on Saturday, but the excitement was short-lived.
Shortly after her win, the 18-year-old pageant queen found herself at the center of social media backlash. A number of Twitter users brought to light language reportedly used on Hay's private account, specifically the n-word. Hay has since made her Twitter handle private, so the controversial tweets cannot be confirmed through viewing her account.
Hay appeared to admit to the indiscretions on Sunday when she took to the Miss Texas Teen Twitter account with an apology, shared over the course of five tweets.
"Several years ago, I had many personal struggles and found myself in a place that is not representative of who I am as a person..." Hay began. "I admit that I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for..."
Several years ago, I had many personal struggles and found myself in a place that is not representative of who I am as a person...
"Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that..." she continued. "I am today a better person. I am honored to hold this title and I will use this platform to promote the values of... The Miss Universe Organization, and my own, that recognize the confidence, beauty and perseverance of all women."
Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that...
This isn't the first time the recent Tomball High School graduate has mentioned a rough childhood. According to her bio on the Miss Teen USA website, her "own childhood experiences have engendered great empathy for children growing up in unstable environments and for the families of alcoholics."
Hay's tweeting past wasn't the only controversy surrounding the Miss Teen USA pageant. After seeing that the top five finalists for this year's event were all white and blonde, Chrissy Teigen tweeted her frustrations about the lack of diversity within the pageant world.