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Meet this week’s USC Campus Celebrity: Liz Black! Liz may seem like your typical freshman, but she is way more than your average student. Liz is a beauty pageant superstar!

Liz was only four years old when she first entered the world of pageantry, and she insisted it’s more than just “spray tanned girls with flippers (a mouth piece of fake teeth).” Even though Liz and her mother were completely new to pageants at her first show, she still managed take the crown. After that first win, Liz fell in love: “by the age of 6, I was hooked!” 

Unlike most Toddlers and Tiaras competitors, Liz did not grow up with a mom doubling as a stage coach. Surprisingly, Liz maintained that she got most of her drive for pageant winning from her father! She explained, “I know it sounds strange, but my dad knows more about pageants than most woman do. My dad is a very competitive person and I definitely get that trait from him.”

So, besides her competitive nature, what exactly made Liz fall in love with beauty pageants? She answered, “Who doesn’t like to wear a pretty dress all day?!” A very good point, Liz!

It’s no secret that popular media has shed a negative light on the world of glitz shows and competitions, but Liz was quick to defend the activity that has played such an important role in her life. She explained, “I think a lot of people who are not in the pageant world assume bad things about pageants. In reality, pageants have taught me how to be a confident woman. I know how to work hard, achieve my goals, and how to ‘sell’ myself to society. Even when I am having a really hard day, and I am completely exhausted, I still am a beauty queen, and I put my best foot forward at all times.”  Maybe more college girls should take some pointers from Liz!

Pageants have also taught Liz the important lesson that “even if you work hard and think you are the best, it might not be your time to win,” and that all girls should be okay with that! As Liz put it, “I always relate it to this little saying about peaches…you can be the biggest, ripest peach, but there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches.” WOW new favorite quote!

So how far has Liz really gone? She answered, “The biggest pageant I have ever been in was Miss South Carolina. It was this past summer and I worked VERY hard for it.” Liz said she worked for ten months  in advance for this pageant; practicing her talent, working on her swimsuit body, and developing her interview skills. Liz competed against 40 other girls, and received the Miracle Maker Award for raising the most amount of money for the Children’s Miracle Network! Awesome!

Liz came in the top 16 overall in the competition, but she didn’t let the loss get her down. She said, “It was a really big honor for me since I worked so hard…I was disappointed that I didn’t make it further into the competition, but I am perfectly happy with my life right now.” Good for you Liz!

So what else does Liz do besides competing in beauty pageants? She explained that since she had been in the pageant world for so long, her hobbies right now mostly include “being a typical 19 year old college student” and said that she is “very thankful for this break.” Mostly, Liz said she loves being a part of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and spending time with her sisters.

Any more big pageants coming up for Liz? She answered, “Right now I don’t have a big pageant planned. I don’t think I will compete again in Miss South Carolina, at least not for a few more years.”

If you do end up competing again, Liz, you’ve got our support 100%!

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Brianna Castoldi

South Carolina

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Kristina Zagame

South Carolina

Born and raised right outside the great city of Boston. Senior at the University of South Carolina. Major: Broadcast Journalism. Minor: Sport and Entertainment Management. Interests include traveling, storytelling, and trying to squeeze in naps. Biggest pet peeve: being told, "no." Instagram & Twitter: @kzagame GO COCKS!
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