Jessica Hopper got a late start in the pageant world. She didn’t start competing until a few years ago.
Hopper, however, has enjoyed a lot of success the past three years.
Hopper, 27, was the fourth runner-up in the Miss United States pageant in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., which ended Oct. 21.
“They cut it short because usually we will do activities like sign autographs, but with COVID, they limited our events and kept us there for four days,” she said.
The Noblesville resident was chosen Miss United States Indiana by her application after the May pageant was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopper didn’t find out she won until August.
“Once I made the top five, I had to immediately give a one-minute speech on my platform and why I should be Miss United States,” said Hopper, whose platform is finding safe homes for children.
Hopper was approached about competing for a Miss Earth title after finishing fourth runner-up. She is still undecided about pursuing it.
“I really like my Miss Indiana United States title and there is a lot of good I can do with it,” Hopper said. “On the American side, people know that better, so they are more likely to listen to me. Even though Miss Earth is a grand slam pageant, it’s more for models. But I like to focus on the pageants (that have) a message. We’re undecided where we are going next, but I might finish out my reign as Miss Indiana United States.”
The Miss United States competition included interview, swimsuit, evening gown and personal platform promise. The opening number was a runway show for Johnathan Kayne, a fashion designer who had competed on the Bravo series “Project Runway.”
It’s the 20th anniversary of the movie “Miss Congeniality,” which used Miss United States as a backdrop.
“They did a documentary on this year’s pageant, which is supposed to be released in January,” Hopper said. “They are doing a televised version of our pageant, but they said it would be a month from now before it was on TV.”
In July, she finished first runner-up in Miss Global United States in Orlando.
In October 2019, Hopper was Miss Indiana World America, competing in the competition in Las Vegas.
“It’s a very platform-based pageant,” she said. “I have a really strong passion for children who have suffered from abuse. It was on TV on Amazon Prime. I actually made top 10 there and was a Beauty with a Purpose winner for my platform, so that was really cool.”
Hopper, who is a financial strategist through Northwestern Mutual, owns a pageant coaching company called Hopper Styles. She was a social worker for three years, leaving in April 2019.