Ashley Barbier crowned Miss LSU-USA
Donaldsonville native Ashley Barbier has been competing in beauty pageants since she was four years old. She won many titles. But on Sunday, March 22 in the LSU Student Union she won what she calls her biggest honor yet, Miss LSU-USA.
“It was such an exciting moment. I had so much adrenaline I can’t even completely remember,” Barbier said in an interview with the Donaldsonville Chief. “It means so much to me to be able to represent my university.”
When her name was called among a field of 22 contestants, she literally jumped up and down in joy and tears as she was set to don the next crown and represent her university.
Barbier is the 22-year-old daughter of Brent and Donna Barbier. She is a 2011 graduate of Ascension Catholic and is senior at LSU who will graduate with a Psychology degree in May.
Barbier said this is by far the biggest pageant she’s won and the pageant that means the most to her just because “not only do I get to go to Miss Louisiana and represent my school, but I get to represent my university for an entire year.”
“The competition was very fierce,” Barbier said. “There were a lot of beautiful and talented girls competing. It really was hard to stand out.”
Barbier believes it was her platform that caught the judges’ eyes most. Her platform is to create awareness for mental health issues.
“Suicide is the third leading cause of death among of college students,” Barbier said. “It’s really important we educate people in general of mental health conditions, and help those who do suffer with it.”
“I suffer with a mental disorder and it runs it my family and it’s just really important we realize mental illnesses are just as important as physical illnesses,” she said. “A lot of times people overlook mental illnesses but they are very real.
Representing Donaldsonville as Miss LSU-USA is also big deal to Barbier. She said although being from a small town there are so many “talented and smart people from Donaldsonville.”
“I’m glad that I can represent my town and I love everything about it,” Barbier said. “We’re so historical and unique, we’re a melting pot of different cultures. It’s amazing to come from a small town and I’m proud to represent Donaldsonville.”
Barbier’s mother, Donna, said their goal was for her to always compete in the Miss Louisiana-USA and now as Miss LSU-USA she’ll have that opportunity.
“I feel so blessed my daughter was chosen,” Donna Barbier said. “She worked so hard to get here and she’s deserving of this title.”
Donna Barbier said her mother passed away a year and a half ago and was Ashley Barbier’s biggest fan. She believes grandmother was with Ashley Barbier on Sunday.
“I know she was looking down on us,” Donna Barbier said. “In my heart I’m so proud of her.”
The Miss LSU-USA competition follows the Miss USA track of pageants, began earlier on Sunday day when judges met each contestant individually for extensive interviews, but each of the top five women also answered one question live onstage.
Ashley Barbier added, “I want to thank everyone from Donaldsonville who have supported me over the years, my friends, my family and the different people who have followed me and supported me. It means so much to me to have so much support.”