Thatiana Diaz is a first generation college graduate and this year's Miss New York. She has been competing in pageants since the age of 15 and works full-time as a beauty assistant at People en Español. With the Miss USA pageant just weeks away, Metro chatted with Diaz to hear what she had to say about anything and everything ranging from her favorite thing to write about to who inspires her the most to her views on the 2016 presidential election.
Where is your favorite place to eat in New York -- any favorite hot spots?
I think my favorite place to eat right now during pageant preparation is Chop't. There are so many locations around New York and they have so many different flavors dressing-wise and so many options for salads. When I am not on a diet and I'm not preparing for pageants definitely Halal Guys, on the corner of 53rd and sixth.
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Where do you like to hang out with family or friends?
Definitely uptown in Washington Heights. I feel like I am in the Dominican Republic when I go up there and I actually just moved up there two weeks ago so it's been really fun to live up there and I really feel like I am at home.
Who is your role model? Who do you admire the most?
It's actually really funny because someone who inspires me is actually a TV character, and it's Olivia Pope, I actually have a quote and I always say, "What would Olivia Pope Do?"
Can you tell me a little bit about the self-help books for American University students that you are working on?
I am a first-generation college student; I was the first in my family. Now my brother goes to college as well.I decided to work with an organization called I'm First!, and Michelle Obama actually works with them and we empower students to get through college, first generation students, and we put YouTube videos up.
What is your favorite thing to write about in terms of beauty?
For me, it's skincare -- I am really big on skincare. I actually had really bad acne. People don’t believe me because I have super clear skin now, but it is very important to me because I know how it feels to have really bad acne or dry skin.
What do you think about the rule that says contestants can’t be married or pregnant (or had a marriage annulled or mothered a child) in order to compete?
I think it is because they want you fully committed to the crown. It is like three full-time jobs all together. You are going around the world around the U.S. and speaking and working with different organizations; it is really hard to stay focused if you know you have a kid at home to take care of or a husband.
Thoughts on Donald Trump’s recent Presidential candidacy announcement?
I think it is great for him. I think that if someone feels passionate about the country and they want to run, I think they should have the opportunity to run and it's great for him to have gone forward with that. I don't have a favorite candidate yet. It could be Hillary, it could be Trump, it could be Bush -- you never know.
This interview was edited for length.