Mona Hibbard steadily advances as an American beauty queen in spite of her less than congenial temperament. Her best friend from childhood, Ruby, has the patience of a saint, which is why she's the one person who is willing to help Mona pursue her ambition. Ruby even helps her to hide the secret that would completely derail Mona's plan to capture the "Miss America Miss" title: an illegitimate daughter, Vanessa. Unwilling to give up or give in, Mona climbs her way up the pageant ladder on sheer will and hunger for victory. But as she arms herself to battle for the biggest title of her life, little Vanessa's emergence as an ally and supporter forces Mona to question her entire strategy. With the media, her co-competitors and seemingly the whole world threatening her chance at the crown, this beauty queen's greatest obstacle is that she is suddenly losing her killer instinct in favor of a maternal one.