Baylor students make it big with Miss Texas

Adaline Bebo (left) and Caroline Carothers (Right) pose after Bebo's crowning in Fort Worth.

Certain public individuals have caused pageants to go viral within the last decade.

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There was Honey Boo Boo and her one-liners from the TLC show “Toddlers in Tiaras.” There is president-elect Donald Trump and his former affiliation with the Miss Universe pageant. And let’s not forget Miss South Carolina’s infamous gaffe in the 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant.

While a few of these figures are larger than life, there are thousands of contestants across the nation who are striving to make meaningful differences in their states and communities.

Of those thousands, Carmel, Ind., sophomore Adaline Bebo was crowned Miss Fort Worth in November and is currently underway planning for the Miss Texas pageant in June.

“To say it was the shock of a lifetime would be an understatement,” Bebo said.

Contestants are crowned after a series of performances in front of an audience. The performances consist of an on-stage question, a swimsuit portion, a talent portion and an evening gown portion.

Individually, contestants are also judged on a variety of topics, including the platform they are running on. Bebo’s platform deals particularly with nutrition and brain health.

“It’s the nutritional basis of neurological health,” Bebo said. “So it’s basically promoting and advocating for brain healthy foods and how those will impact people in the long run.”

A neuroscience major, Bebo had career plans ranging from working with the federal government to being in the culinary industry. But although the Miss Texas pageant originally started as an outlet for Bebo to expand her community service, it became an avenue for Bebo to pursue her goals.

“As I’ve looked at my platform more in depth, I’m super interested in the nutritional aspects of it,” Bebo said.

Those who go on to win Miss Texas are then sponsored by the organization to implement their platforms in public schools across the state.

“Miss Texas Pageant, Inc. has a rich history of empowering young women to achieve their dreams and goals,” the Miss Texas website says.

San Antonio sophomore Caroline Carothers was crowned Miss Texas 2016 and has since been traveling the state promoting her platform.

“That has been my favorite part of the job, personally, as an education major,” Carothers said. “I’ve really enjoyed being able to go in and talk with students about character education and perseverance and basic character traits and demonstrating this through my baton twirling skills and through my platform, which has really hit home for them.”

Both Bebo and Carothers twirled for their talent portion, which is relatively common in Miss America pageants.

“There is a twirling organization that has a lot of the same characteristics that the Miss Texas organization has,” Carothers said. “That’s what makes it such an easy transition for those girls to compete in Miss Texas or any other state involved in the Miss America system.”

Despite the easy transition, Bebo was originally hesitant to make the jump from twirling to Miss Texas.

“I have always said no I won’t do pageants; it’s not really me,” Bebo said. “But once you’re in it, you realize truly how empowering it is.”

Carothers realizes there are stereotypes associated with pageants but is confident in Miss America.

“There are many more than just the Miss America system,” Carothers said. “I competed in the Miss America system, that is what [Bebo] is doing and that is primarily because it is a scholarship organization that is all run by volunteers. What sets us apart is we’re not just winning money or a modeling contract. We’re winning scholarships to further our education.”

Bebo will go on to compete in Miss Texas from June 24 to July 1.