Model, dancer, and pageant princess, Marisa Barnard is a triple threat, but you won't find this sweetie bragging, so we'll do it for her. Former Campus Celebrity Rachel Jerome sits down with the beauty queen herself to discuss her time in the spotlight.
Class year: 2014
Activities on Campus: Dance Club, Her Campus
First of all, what is your official pageant title? Miss Naugatuck Valley. It's a local title in the Miss America Organization.
Would it be awkward if people started to call you Princess? Absolutely.
How did you get started in the pageant and modeling world? I started modeling when I was 14. I was randomly asked to model a few dresses for my local paper's fashion section. It was my first photoshoot ever. I started doing pageants when I was 15. My dance teacher competed for Miss Connecticut and local titles in Connecticut, and she encouraged me to enter. I was 1st runner up in my first pageant.
What has been your greatest accomplishment as a model/beauty queen? A few years ago I randomly entered myself in an online modeling competition sponsored by ELLEgirl. I won December model of the month and I was a semi-finalist for the model of the year competition. As a semi-finalist, I was able to walk in New York Fashion Week for Indashio in February 2011. There were a couple of famous celebrities there, such as Adrienne Bailon, and Aubrey O'Day was in the fashion show. It was the coolest experience of my life thus far.
Wow! That’s so cool! On a more serious note--there has been a lot of discussion about the influence of media in our society, particularly on girls’ self esteem and self-image, how do you feel about this, as a model? Because the media is constantly bombarding us with images of what is supposed to be “conventionally beautiful,” girls are definitely more self conscious about their appearances. I think that society puts pressure on us to strive for perfection, when models themselves aren’t perfect.
What do you think about “Toddlers and Tiaras”? Are you on that show? Haha I’m not. I am not a fan because I think it portrays pageants in a negative way. The people involved are definitely not as dramatic, but things can get competitive.
Tell us about your experience with the dance department at Conn. Dance had been a part of my life for 15 years now. I knew that I wanted to continue dancing throughout college. I really love dance here at Conn. I've been in several Dance Club shows, the Dance Department faculty show last year, and Fusion--the dance show put on by CCASA annually. West African dance has definitely been my favorite dance class so far. Drummers play live music during every class, which adds a lot of energy. Our final performance will be a part of the Dance Department Faculty Show, which everyone should come watch!
Should we look out for you at the Miss America pageant in a few years? I hope so!
Have you ever been in a walk off (like from Zoolander)? Not yet.
Who would win in a walk off- Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Karlie Kloss, or you? We're betting on you ;) I guess I would have to say myself, but I have a not-so-secret obsession with Karlie Kloss--her September Vogue cover shot is currently the background on my computer--so I may let her win.