University News

Cookie Cutter Mold Broken with New Miss SUU

Published: September 11, 2014 | Author: Jessica Young | Category: Special Events

Heather Garcia is crowned Miss SUU 2014It’s not the red glitter clinging to her neck, the bold red lipstick, or the cheetah print blazer that catches your eye when you look at Heather Garcia. What speaks the loudest is her genuine ability to shine. And this talent comes naturally to the junior from Taylorsville, Utah, and ultimately led her to royalty and being crowned Miss SUU 2014-2015 on Tuesday, September 9.

Garcia isn’t your typical beauty queen and if you peruse the Miss USA pageants, she doesn’t fit the mold. But to Garcia that isn’t a weakness, it’s her strength and what led her to compete in the annual competition.

“When you look at me you may not see the stick thin beauty queen, but’s that why I did it,” exclaimed Garcia.  “I wanted to show other girls that you don’t have to be size 2 to have worth and to win. Everyone is beautiful.”

It is this platform of establishing self-worth that drove Garcia to the stage and what won her the crown, publicizing during the competition that if she won she would start an initiative on campus that empowers women.

“I want to break molds and stereotypes in our society,” revealed Garcia. “Sometimes we get so stuck on what has always been, instead of what could be. This was my way of saying that even if I didn’t fit the previous mold set for Miss SUU, doesn’t mean I couldn’t hold the title.”

Strutting onto the stage in the SUU Wear category, which consisted of a red and white loincloth and bikini over black leggings, Garcia proudly declared that her outfit represented that she is an open book and is venturing into a brand new world “like Tarzan,” and she likes to swim.

This candid and energetic response during the competition is what won over the crowd and the judges, as claimed by Ellen Treanor, professional-in-residence communications professor and Miss SUU judge. 

“All of the contestants were extraordinary and any one of them would have made a wonderful Miss SUU,” she said. “What differentiated Heather was her connection with the audience. She took every opportunity to reach out and somehow include the audience in her experience, as if she were participating in the pageant for all of us; while having a blast.”

Echoing Treanor’s comments, current Mr. SUU Ryan Bailey replied, “Heather won because she personifies in every way what SUU is. She has set a new precedent on this campus that you can do anything you want, if you put forth the work and confront your fears.” 

Now with her sparkly crown Garcia vows to make a difference on campus. Along with creating a women empowerment group, Garcia also wants to be a familiar face to everyone at SUU and be highly involved in all University events.

“In year’s past I have never seen Miss SUU past Homecoming week, I’m going to change that,” she said.

Being that familiar, welcoming face will be an easy goal to reach seeing that Garcia is involved with many groups on campus, including Delta Psi Omega Sorority, University Passport, Orientation, is the Chi Phi Fraternity sweetheart and is the president of the Bird Watching Association.

Photo Credit: Gina Fossile, SUU News

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