Miss Black CU queen spreads message of body positivity
The Dr. Valree Wynn Miss Black Cameron University pageant has a new queen.
Mariah Ellis was crowned Miss Black CU 2018 on Feb 3.
Ellis, 19, is a freshman at the university currently majoring in psychology.
In addition to her coronation, Ellis was also named Business Woman, a title given to the contestant who sold the most advertisements for the pageant's program book.
"I chose to do this pageant because it was a new experience for me," Ellis said. "I was always the sporty girl. So I thought maybe something with dresses, something more elegant, will help me better myself as a lady and as a woman. I thought, maybe this will be a fun experience."
If you had asked her before the pageant if she thought she was going to be the winner, she would have answered "not at all."
"When they announced my name I was like, 'Oh, OK.' I was just thinking, 'remember to step forward and wave.' I didn't really think I was going to win, honestly," Ellis said.
Since receiving her crown, Ellis has traveled to each of the local middle schools to spread the message of body positivity, the same platform she ran on as a contestant.
She also spoke to the kids about the dangers of social media representation.
Her planner has been filling up recently, and the first-year college student says time managment has been one of the major improvements the crown has brought to her life.
"It's made me look at my time better. I'm starting to use my planner more. Just being more organized. That's how this pageant has helped me as a student," Ellis said.
Ellis credits everyone involved with the pageant, as well as Cameron university's Black Student Association, with having been very supportive of her as she has made the transition from contestant to queen.
But there is one person, she says, who has done more for her than anyone else.
"My mother has been my No. 1 supporter since the beginning, I probably would not have won without my mother, honestly," Ellis said. "She's very excited, I think she's more excited than me. My mom is No. 1."
In addition to the $1,200 scholarship that Ellis will receive as Miss Black CU, she will also have opportunities to advance to other pageants, including the Miss Oklahoma USA pageant.