The 2019 Flaunt It Awards took place Sunday night at the legendary Beverly Wilshire where guests came together to honor celebrities and remarkable people for using their platforms and raising awareness about a visible or invisible difference that has impacted their lives.
With attendees like Mischa Barton from The Hills, Jai Rodriguez, Jillian Mercado, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin, Isis King, and more the awards mission was to bring people of all types, abilities and backgrounds to work together to overcome discrimination and bullying.
“Being one of the first ones to shatter the glass ceiling on what it means to be a model is a privileged position to be in,” said Jillian Mercado on the red carpet. She is a wheelchair user due to her muscular dystrophy and is signed with IMG Models, one of the biggest modeling agencies in the world. She was the first recipient of the Flaunt It Award during the evening. A very deserving award considering she constantly works hard to bring inclusivity to the modeling community and using her platform to help others and carve a path for many with disabilities.
On stage to present her the award was Nia Franklin who we also got to chat with on the carpet. Nia been representing America as Miss America 2019 during a pivotal point in time where Miss America, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA are all African-African.
“It’s important now more than ever, especially now that we’re in the era of Miss America 2.0. What that means is that we’re not putting ourselves in a box for anyone. Miss America does not have to fit a mold she can be of any denomination, any race, she can be whoever she wants to be,” said Franklin. Not only has she been busy using her platform for greatness and being a role model for many but she also happens to be a talented singer/songwriter. Those present that evening were able to witness to abilities as she beautifully sang “This is Me” from the movie The Greatest Showman.
Between the inspirational and touching moments that left audience members teary-eyed to the witty comments from Jonathan Bennett who hosted the ceremony, the Flaunt It Awards definitely served its purpose. All thanks to Meg Zucker the founder of the Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It organization.
For over a decade Zucker has been on a mission to “advance acceptance, understanding, tolerance, and mutual respect for a person’s blatant or invisible difference.” She has partnered with Scholastic Inc. to help reach hundreds of thousands of students in schools across the nation. Her journey began when her son Ethan was bullied for his genetic condition called Ectrodactyly which is the one she has as well. Through her efforts she has created initiative for children to flaunt their differences and the things that make them unique.