Miss Utah USA is going through a tough time right now. After totally biffing a question about the disparity between men and women's pay during the pageant, she has gone viral as a dumb Utah brunette (thank god she isn't a blonde).

It happens the staff at SLMag had the opportunity to work closely with Marissa Powell recently during a shoot for our upcoming July issue. She's on our cover, wearing a pair of "smart" glasses and Sorel snow boots and reading a book. (Could the timing have been any better for us? Our cover girl is being followed by millions around the world.)

Unfortunately, we didn't have an opportunity to pepper her with national policy questions at the shoot. But if grace and humor count for anything, she came across as anything but loser.

She showed zen-like patience for the idiotic poses we were putting her through. And when our staff, including preggers former editor Marcie Cancio, took turns wearing her "Miss Utah" sash to post photos of each other, she thought it was hilarious.

Finally, keep in mind her millions of smug critics were apparently tuned in to an asinine beauty pageant to see Miss Utah's gaff. Meanwhile, they failed the IQ test of allowing Google and NSA to read their emails and Monsanto produce their food.

And she's dumb?

NPR has a pretty good commentary that gives Powell some small credit for fielding a complicated question that our society apparently can't answer either.

After getting it together, Powell gave a sharp answer about income inequality between men and women : “This is not OK. It needs to be equal pay for equal work; and it’s hard enough already to earn a living, and it shouldn’t be harder just because you’re a woman.”

She's appeared on the “Today Show” and “Inside Edition,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” making publicity better than the rest of her Miss USA competition.