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“If you think that your child is going to be really sensitive to the fact that they might not win _ which they probably won’t _ you shouldn’t do it because it’s not healthy if they get the feeling that they’re not good enough or they’re not worthy,” she said.

Culpo’s mother, a professional viola player, discouraged her from entering the world of beauty competitions last year.

“I didn’t see the point; I thought it was silly and a waste of time,” Susan Culpo said. But she changed her mind when she saw the joy her daughter brought to hometown fans.

On Thursday, the mayor of Culpo’s home town of Cranston, R.I., called her win an inspiration for the city, state and nation.

Asked moments before the Miss Universe show why pageants remain relevant, Donald Trump, who co-owns the competition with NBC, responded that everyone likes beautiful women.

His winner had a different take:

“It really comes down to being able to inspire others by being comfortable with yourself. You have to show girls that everyone is different, everyone has things they don’t like, but they work it and walk the runway,” Culpo said. “There is no ideal body. It’s just taking what you have and working it.”