:: Deaf People in History: Day 6 – Heather Whitestone McCallum ::

People – Heather Whitestone McCallum


A Miss America to Remember


From Jamie Berke,
Your Guide to Deafness.

Heather Whitestone Becomes Miss America

I was not among the large television audience when Heather Whitestone McCallum, Miss America 1995, won her crown. (I’ve never watched beauty pageants!)

She won the same way as any other contestant — by dancing and looking good in a bathing suit. Her S.T.A.R.S. (Success Through Action and Realization of your dreamS) platform was also important in helping her to win the crown. The story of her win is permanently archived by the Miss America organization on its website.

After the Win, A Deaf Role Model

After her win, Whitestone was feted by the deaf press and other disability publications, such as Ability magazine. For a brief time, she was also the center of a controversy sparked when she was allegedly misquoted in a popular magazine, as well as subject to criticism from some members of the deaf community.

Deaf Life magazine gave the issue the full treatment in its cover story in July 1995. She was also the cover celebrity in volume 5, issue #5 of HIP Magazine. When her reign ended, this criticism was alluded to in an editorial from the DeafNation newspaper.
The hearing world also saw plenty of Heather. For example, she was featured in the famous “Milk Mustache” advertisements.

Subject of Book By Mother

Her mother wrote a book about how they raised their deaf daughter, Yes, you can, Heather! (compare prices) McCallum herself has written two books, one titled Listening With My Heart (compare prices). Her cochlear implant was big news, and she was on several news programs.

Do you think we will ever have another deaf Miss America? Why or Why Not? Submit your thoughts and Read About Visitors’ Thoughts on Heather Whitestone.

Keeping Up with Whitestone

Although Whitestone focuses on her family (she married a hearing man, John McCallum, and they have children), she continues to be involved here and there in the deaf community. Her current activities and priorities are detailed at the official Heather Whitestone website, HeatherWhitestone.com. Continue

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