Gianna Barbour, also known as Teen Miss Beach Park 2018, has had her challenges when competing in pageants.
Barbour has been doing pageants since she was five years old, and she still continues to this day as Teen Miss Beach Park 2018.
“When I was little I wanted to be a Disney Princess, so I started doing pageants,” Barbour said. “I soon realized it was so much more.”
Barbour has had many role models through her years of competing, but she said one stands out.
“Zoey Brown has been the biggest inspiration because she was my trainer.”
Barbour has won two pageant competitions as Little Miss Zion 2013 and Teen Miss Beach Park 2018. Competing is fun, Barbour said, but in a small town it has its challenges.
“I went up against one of my lifelong friends,” Barbour said, “and it ruined our friendship.”
Barbour feels that people don’t understand what pageants are all about.
“Like my mom always said, ‘It’s not all about the prettiest girl or the best dressed, it’s about who wants to impact the community the most,'” Barbour said.
Barbour is running for Teen Miss Lake County against all of the Teen Miss’s in Lake County in November.
“Once again I’m running against another one of my lifelong friends,” Barbour said. “I’m worried another friendship will be affected.”
Barbour’s older cousin, Mackenzie Kooi, won when she was younger, and she is now 23 years old and works as a special ed teacher at Miguel Juarez in Waukegan. Kooi’s quote that has always inspired her is from Mahatma Gandhi.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”