Searcy girl among Miss Teen USA competitors

By Lisa Burnett Published July 28, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: Rusty Hubbard

Abby Floyd will be competing for the Miss Teen USA title in the Bahamas on Aug. 9 and 10.

— Abby Floyd, 17, of Searcy wants to show people that all pageant girls don’t fit the stereotype.

“Everyone thinks Toddlers and Tiaras, and that pageant girls are really catty. That’s not it at all,” Floyd said. “All of the girls I’ve met have been so genuine and sweet, and they’re so involved in their communities.”

Floyd was named Miss Arkansas Teen USA on Jan. 6 at the Arend Arts Center in Bentonville.

“[Winning] was so exciting,” Floyd said.

After spending six months holding the title, Floyd is preparing for the Miss Teen USA pageant in the Bahamas on Aug. 9 and 10.

“This is only my third pageant to compete in,” Floyd said. “I had never really wanted to compete before.”

However, she is no stranger to being in the spotlight. Floyd said she’s been modeling since she was 13.

“I’ve modeled for varsity cheer and dance, Dillard’s, Tony Bowls and Justine Magazine,” Floyd said.

Modeling has opened doors for her, and she said holding the title of Miss Arkansas Teen USA has created more opportunities.

“I’ve really learned a lot with my interview and speaking skills,” Floyd said. “I’ve become much more self-confident.”

At the pageant on Aug. 9 and 10, Floyd said, participants compete in evening gown and swimsuit competitions at the beginning of the event.

“The top five contestants [in swimsuit and evening gown] get three on-stage questions,” Floyd said.

Floyd said she’s been to the Bahamas once before, but she’s excited to go back to the islands for the competition.

Of all of the categories

in the pageant, Floyd said, she likes the evening gown competition the best.

“I love getting to pick out and wear all of the pretty dresses,” Floyd said. “I always get nervous for the interview because that’s your first impression on the judges.”

Floyd is familiar with friendly competition because she’s been showing her horses for six years.

“I have four show horses, and I show all of them,” Floyd said.

She competes in American Quarter Horse Association horse shows in the halter and Western Pleasure division.

Being named Miss Arkansas Teen USA and competing in horse shows have kept Floyd busy, and her mother, Kim, said she is excited to see what the future holds for her daughter.

“[When she won], it was so good to see how her hard work paid off,” Kim said. “I think it’s so good when kids have goals.”

Floyd said, voting can be done until Aug. 10 on the Miss Teen USA website for the next winner of the pageant, and the winner of the online voting gets to be one of the top five contestants.

To vote, visit www.missuniverse.com/missteenusa.

Floyd and her mother have seen the way the pageant world can provide opportunities to learn. Kim said she was a little reluctant to let her child travel on her own when she first started modeling and entering pageants, but then decided she knew what was best for her daughter.

“If God’s going to open those doors, we’re going to walk through them,” Kim said.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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