Miss Teen South Carolina, Lauren Caitlin Upton (born March 27, 1989), also credited as Caite Upton, is an American fashion model, and beauty queen from Lexington, South Carolina. In August 2007, while Miss South Carolina Teen USA, Upton became an Internet meme for her rambling and unstructured response to a pageant question.
As part of a question and answer portion of the 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant, Upton was asked by the questioner, Friday Night Lights actress Aimee Teegarden: “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?” Upton responded:
I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future [for our children].
According to YouTube, video clips of her response on the website have had over 78 million views. It was the site’s most viewed video for the month of September 2007. Many YouTube users made their own parodies of the incident. The Yale Book of Quotations designated the response the second most memorable quotation of 2007. Upton won a World Stupidity Award for the Stupidest Statement of the Year.
As a guest on NBC’s The Today Show, Upton told Ann Curry and Matt Lauer that she was overwhelmed when asked the question and did not comprehend it correctly. The Today Show hosts gave Upton another opportunity to answer. She responded:
Well personally, my friends and I, we know exactly where the United States is on our map. I don’t know anyone else who doesn’t. And if the statistics are correct, I believe that there should be more emphasis on geography in our education so people will learn how to read maps better.
Both Curry and Lauer, along with unseen crew members, applauded her response.
Miss Teen South Carolina