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Rebekah Harris

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The Beauty of Confidence

Rebekah Harris, a sophomore biomedical science major at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, recently competed in the Miss Texas USA 2016 pageant, under the title of Miss Nueces County USA. While Harris didn’t take home the Miss Texas USA crown, she says she walked away with life lessons and a different outlook on the pageant world.

“I learned that most of the women that do pageants aren’t just pretty. They are smart too,” Harris said. “Many of them have college degrees, are University students or they own their own businesses.”

Harris says preparing for the pageant for more than year gave her a renewed confidence concerning her appearance and self-worth.

“When I was in grade school, I was teased for being super skinny,” said Harris.

After being treated by a doctor for her weight, Harris says she was teased again.

“Kids then picked on me for being chubby,” she said. “In high school, I discovered sports and found a healthy weight. Once I got to college, I realized that I didn’t need anyone’s approval when it came to my looks.”

Harris says her classes at the Island University, especially Exercise and Health taught by Dr. Lon Seiger, prepared her for the pageant runway.

“In Dr. Seiger’s class, we were forced to speak in front of each other every day,” said Harris. “The class really helped me grow accustomed to possible judgements from a crowd.”

Harris says she’s never felt more comfortable in her own skin.

“Judgement doesn’t bother me anymore,” said Harris. “The pageant celebrates individuality.”

After graduation, Harris plans a career as a personal trainer and nutritionist, and hopes to motivate others to become the healthiest version of themselves. She also plans to compete in more pageants.

“I’ve definitely caught the ‘pageant bug,’” said Harris. “Next time I will train stronger and harder. Being a ‘pageant girl’ is definitely a lifestyle and could be a full-time job.”