By Rickey Miller
This year we met Miss LSU – USA 2015, Ashley Barbier, who went against our conventional idea of the typical “beauty queen.” Barbier, a recent psychology graduate from LSU, fascinated us with her many layers of diversity.
“In high school I was in band, so I’m a band nerd, so I am really good friends with everyone in band,” said Barbier. “I also do pageants, so I have a lot of people I meet through that; I also longboard around campus.”
Barbier explained that since she received her titled as Miss LSU – USA she feels that she has inspired many young girls who may not fit society’s image of pageantry.
The article gave us an inside look at Barbier’s life and her thoughts on running for Miss Louisiana – USA. To find this article check out our website at digbr.wpengine.com/crowning-moment.
So what can we expect from Barbier in 2016? Well, DIG caught up with Ashley who explained that life as Miss LSU – USA is still a dream come true and a title she holds dear.
DIG Magazine: So what’s been happening in your world since we last caught up with you?
Barbier: “I’ve been doing a bunch of appearances, especially this month. I’ve been doing a lot Christmas, holiday things and a lot of things for the people who just graduated in the fall. It hasn’t been too much, but it’s definitely about to pick up once the New Year starts. For 2016 I already have a couple of pageants I’m judging, we’re preparing for the Miss LSU 2016 pageant, so once the school year picks back up I’m sure there will be tons of things.”
DIG: When exactly is the 2016 Miss LSU Pageant?
Barbier: “It’s April 10th.”
DIG: Well, I’m sure that you’re very busy with that.
Barbier: “Yea, the committee is especially busy. Once the pageant ended in 2015, they already start preparing for the 2016 pageant. Also if you’re competing eight weeks before the pageant there are rehearsals every Sunday. So I have to attend all of those practices, help the girls and get them prepared. For every rehearsal, there is someone who comes in to help the girls with something different. So for instance, this year, I’m trying to get a bunch of people to come in like the girl who does my hair and makeup. She’ll be coming in and giving tips on hair and makeup, and then like a fitness person who can come in and give health and fitness tips to the girls. So I just need to be present for that and give my input every now and then.”
DIG: What were some of your favorite events from this past year as Miss LSU?
Barbier: “My FAVORITE event was probably competing in Miss Louisiana because I made Top 15 and it was a good experience. But other than competing I really like attending the alumni events because they are so nice to me, and they make me feel right at home. It’s a good time.”
DIG: Besides the 2016 Miss LSU Pageant, what other events are you really looking forward to in this upcoming year?
Barbier: “Um, I actually get announced at a basketball game on January 16th and a baseball game, we haven’t set an appearance date for that yet, but I will be doing the first pitch and all that. So I’m looking forward to that.”
DIG: Do you enjoy basketball and baseball?
Barbier: “I do, I am a basketball fan! And also, my dad has season tickets to the baseball games, and though I’m not too much of a baseball fan, I always have a really good time attending the LSU games because it’s such a beautiful stadium and there’s really good food [laughs].”
DIG: Nervous any about throwing the first pitch?
Barbier: “Probably so…it’s been a while since I threw a baseball so we’ll see how I do.”
DIG: After your reign as Miss LSU, do you plan on continuing doing pageants?
Barbier: “I do plan on continuing modeling and things like that. Actually, over the summer, I will be going to New York and working for Jovani, which is a designer that I modeled for this summer in New York. So, I’m going to work with him for two months, and they’re really in the pageantry industry, so that will be cool. As far as competing again…I don’t know, we’ll see after Miss LSU passes and how I’m feeling after that, but while I’m Miss LSU, I don’t like to think about giving up my title or being anything else.”
DIG: What are some key things you’ve learned this year from being Miss LSU?
Barbier: “I’ve definitely learned how to do things on the spot…impromptu types of things. I mean I’ll go to events, not knowing I have to make a speech and they will tell me last minute ‘Why don’t you say something about the event?’ and I’ll know nothing about the event. So really just to talk on the spot and to always have a smile on my face, even if I’m having a bad day; I pretend like I’m having a good day, which helps me, you know. It helps me to be more positive about what I’m doing. But definitely just doing the thing on the spot, being quick on my feet.”
DIG: Any New Year’s resolutions?
Barbier: “I would say…being healthier. I already live a really healthy lifestyle, but I really want to step that up a bit, maybe eat a little healthier. After Miss Louisiana, I kind of started eating more cheat meals. So, I think I’m going to try to eat a little healthier.”
DIG: Any fun facts about yourself that people would find interesting?
Barbier: “Um, I can make my stomach growl; on cue.”
Barbier: [Laughs]… Um, I don’t know. It’s just something that I’ve been able to do since I was little.”
As The 2016 Miss LSU Pageant quickly approaches, Barbier says that one of the biggest key points she wants to give to contestants is to simply “be confident.”
“A lot of people get nervous about the swimsuit portion of the pageant, but as long as you have confidence, you’ll be ok,” said Barbier. “They always say the person with the most confidence always wins.”
She continues by stating, “LSU isn’t looking for the perfect beauty queen, they are looking for someone who has a passion for being an ambassador for this great campus.”
And we at DIG say, if that is the qualifications for Miss LSU, Barbier has certainly surpassed every expectation. Her down-to-earth, friendly, positive attitude and passion for LSU are all the reasons she is our 2016 Diggie recipient.