Maybe it happened as she was gliding across the stage, dancing to music mixed with a sermon about God’s never-ending love.
Maybe it was when she smiled, showing off her looks in the evening gown strut, or maybe it happened when she was asked about her platform and gave a passionate response about finding beauty in everyone because they are created in God’s image.
Whenever it was, junior psychology major Ariel Sheffield won over the judges and claimed the crown of Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor for 2011.
“My favorite part was the girls, every single girl that participated,” Sheffield said.
Twenty-three women were involved in the pageant with the winner receiving not only a crown, plaque and bragging rights, but also a full year scholarship.
The theme of this year was Beautiful, based on Psalm 45:11 which reads, “The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.”
The judges based their decision mostly on inner beauty, displayed through the contestants’ platforms, talents and responses to questions.
Junior Christian ministry major Brianna Edwards served as a contestants committee head and became close friends with all the women.
She said, “It was really cool to see how … they became sisters. They have a bond.”
Though the practices may have been time consuming and tedious, the end result was worth each hard moment.
Junior public relations major Landra Davidson was named first runner-up.
“Every second, every tear, every mad moment that I had, everything — it’s been worth it, without a doubt,” Davidson said.
Through the process, she has discovered more about the way God works in her life.
She said, “The Lord has just been growing me for the past months more than I ever knew. I’ve learned what it means to be the Gospel and what that really looks like.”
Sheffield’s platform was “seeing beauty in all of His beloved,” something she learned how to do better by being involved with Pageant.
“I’ve grown in so many ways. It taught me how faithful God is and how strong He is and how supportive God is and how He just carries us throughout everything,” she said.
Sheffield will serve the campus as Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor for a year until she crowns a new winner next fall.
After being crowned, she said, “I’m so overwhelmed. I feel undeserving; I feel grateful; I feel excited; and I feel beautiful.”
A compilation of photos and video of the Awards Night at the Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor Pageant. Congratulations, Ariel Sheffield, as well as all the other beautiful women!