As the Miss LSU—USA Pageant approaches, we wanted to catch up with current titleholder, Ashley Barbier, as she prepares to crown the new Miss LSU 2016. Barbier said that though she is sad to see her reign come to an end, she is very excited about the future. She shared some of her favorite moments as Miss LSU and her plans after the big night, along with some advice for the contestant and next titleholder.
DIG: How do you feel now that the pageant is a few days away and it’s almost time to give up your crown and the title to the next Miss LSU?
Barbier: It is very bittersweet. I am really sad about giving up the title because this has all become a part of my identity, but I am excited to give someone the opportunities that I had throughout my year as Miss LSU.
DIG: What have been some of your favorite moments as Miss LSU?
Barbier: Doing appearances around campus, like ring day, for example. I loved doing ring day — I got to meet all the students that go to LSU as well as [compete] at Miss Louisiana—USA.
DIG: What were some of the biggest things you learned this past year as Miss LSU?
Barbier: Because I’m not in a sorority, I never really got the full sorority experiences and [learn] about all of their philanthropies, but as Miss LSU, I was able to work a lot of sororities, especially [Delta Zeta], who puts on Miss LSU. It’s really awesome to see all of the girls who participate and help out in their community.
DIG: What are your plans after Miss LSU? Are you thinking about doing more pageantry?
Barbier: Yes, I plan on going to grad school in the fall, which is really exciting…but I’m moving to New York for three months working for Giovanni, which a company that I had the opportunity to work with during my reign. So, I’m glad I get to keep that relationship I have with Giovanni and I do still plan on continuing competing whether that’s representing Baton Rouge or my hometown…I do plan on continuing my pageant career.
DIG: What were some of your biggest challenges during your reign as Miss LSU?
Barbier: For the past couple of months, nothing has been too challenging because I graduated [last] May. My work is really flexible around Miss LSU, but while I was still in school, it was the time management that was hard because not only was I going to classes every day, but with finals and testing as well as appearances, that could have been really challenging. But I have good time [management] skills, so I made it work.
DIG: What were some of your funniest or most embarrassing moments as Miss LSU?
Barbier: Um, a lot times just going into appearances and not knowing what you’re getting yourself into. There were some appearances where I kind of went to the event and didn’t really know what it was for, and then two seconds later they are asking me to go on stage and talk about the event, and I didn’t know what it was … I had to just do some impromptu kind of stuff. And that gets a little embarrassing sometimes, but as long as you act like you know what you’re doing, it all works out in the end.
DIG: Would you change anything about your reign as Miss LSU 2015?
Barbier: Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. Only thing I would change is making my reign a little longer [laughs], but since I can’t do that there’s not much I can do. But I feel that when I competed for Miss LSU, I gave it my all. It’s something that I really wanted, so I wanted to make as many appearances as possible and really take advantage of this title, and I really think I did that this year. So, I don’t have any regrets.
DIG: What type of advice do you have for the contestants?
Barbier: At this point, I think there’s not much any of the girls can do that would make or break them because the pageant is so close. So, the best thing they can do is just be confident in who they are. Not everyone is going to win a crown, just one person will win, so you have to take what you get from it, and that’s friendship and knowledge and all the things that they learned throughout the practices which will help them at not only Miss LSU, but at jobs and everyday life.
DIG: What type of advice would you give to the next Miss LSU?
Barbier: The next Miss LSU really needs to realize that what’s most important is that she takes the crown and really molds it to her head and incorporate herself into the crown — not necessarily trying to be Miss LSU, but incorporating Miss LSU into who she is.
The big night is this Sunday! To learn more about the event or purchase your ticket for the Miss LSU – USA 2016 Pageant, visit MissLSUUSAPageant.wordpress.com.
Photo by Jas Production