GCU’s Lindsay Fernandez Competes for Miss Arizona USA
By Doug Carroll
A funny thing happened to GCU student Lindsay Fernandez on her way to winning the crown of Fiesta Bowl Queen last year.
She liked it.
“I’m not the typical titleholder,” says Fernandez, 23, a commuter student from Peoria who is majoring in health-care administration and nursing. She was the first student from GCU to ever make the finals of the Fiesta Bowl competition.
“I’m not tall or super-skinny or drop-dead gorgeous. But what I have to offer can help women be beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.”
Last June in Las Vegas, Fernandez caught a glimpse of the contestants for the Miss USA pageant — and decided on the spot that her pageant days weren’t over.
Now she’s a contestant for Miss Arizona USA, which will be decided Nov. 19 and 20 at the Mesa Arts Center and is the first step toward becoming Miss USA. The Miss USA pageant is owned by billionaire Donald Trump.
Miss Arizona USA is no small undertaking for Fernandez, who is paying her own way for college. She has raised $14,000 in sponsorships from a number of sources. For the past few months, she has been working with two coaches to prepare for the competition.
“If you want to win,” she says, “you need the finances behind you. And if you don’t ask, you won’t get (the funds).
“I can do the job of Miss Arizona. I’ve prepared myself to take it on and be an ambassador for young women. Donald Trump’s signature line is, ‘You’re fired!’ Well, I want to be hired!”
Fernandez’s coaches, Breanna Heater and Alicia Blanco (the 2009 Miss Arizona USA), have been advising her on diet, exercise and the finer points of pageantry, such as “butt glue” (it keeps you from getting a wedgie) and the use of Preparation H cream for smoother-looking skin.
The Miss Arizona USA contestants will be judged in three categories: physical appearance, stage presence and interview skills. For the latter, Fernandez has received media training from the Lavidge Company, a Phoenix marketing and public-relations firm whose clients include GCU.
“I never thought I’d be in a bikini in front of people,” says Fernandez, the daughter of a pastor and a veteran of several mission trips. “Awkward!”
Part of the Miss Arizona USA competition involves a People’s Choice Award, for which GCU students, faculty and staff can vote on Facebook. Go to the Miss Arizona USA page, like it, click on photos, click on contestants and then vote for Peoria/Lindsay Fernandez.
Contact Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.