The moment a young lady is crowned Miss Louisiana USA, she enters a sisterhood that lasts a lifetime. It’s like a sorority with the crown as a symbol, with your platform as your charity, with outfit organizing as the social, and with former queens fulfilling the role of big sisters.
It’s actually one of the main things that caught my attention as I heard about the big move in day for Miss Louisiana USA, Candice Bennatt. She certainly did not arrive alone, having four suitcases and two duffels full of necessities. But more importantly, she arrived with two sisters, two former titleholders that made history throughout their reigns, Miss Louisiana 2013 – Kirsten Girault, and Miss Louisiana 2014 – Brittany Guidry.
Since Bennatt’s crowning moment in October, Girault and Guidry gained a best friend and did not even think twice when it came to helping Bennatt prepare for the national competition.
“Being a former Miss LA USA, I knew I was going to try and help Candice throughout her reign with whatever I possibly could, and that definitely included her preparation for Miss USA. I like to think that being a titleholder from Louisiana means you are a part of a sisterhood like no other. Candice and I have become so close over this past year. When she asked Brittany and I in early June to help move her into L’Auberge, I didn’t even have to think twice about it. I wanted her to go into Miss USA with as little stress as possible and to feel completely prepared. I knew with the help of Brittany and myself that could definitely be accomplished. Plus considering New Orleans is only an hour outside of Baton Rouge, I knew Candice would enjoy a fun car ride with her girlfriends before having to get into competition mode,” stated Girault.
Several of the Miss USA contestants arrived on Sunday, June 28, making their stay in the capitol city roughly two weeks long. Can you imagine having to pack for two weeks? Much less having to look like a superstar the entire time.
Guidry has helped Bennatt with several aspects of the competition as she is part owner in Empowering Crowns with another former Miss Louisiana USA (2008), Michelle Berthelot West.
“We know how much stress our girls have just sending them off to state level pageants, much less a national pageant. Their appearance dresses need to be altered, they need to decide which shoe and earrings go best with the outfit, but it’s not all about wardrobe… you are living in a hotel for two weeks. You have to bring a lot more than you think,” said Guidry.
The experienced preparation and packing isn’t the only thing Candice has working for her. The pageant being held right in her home state has its advantages as well.
Guidry stated, “You can bring all you need because you are not trying to fit it in to your luggage and having to worry about a shopping expense or checked bag expense. Also, I know I always break out with the stress of traveling so I know Candice definitely has the advantage of being here. I don’t know if the other contestants can ever fully prepare for the amount of humidity we have down here. It shocked a lot of contestants last year but a little tip for them…use less hairspray with humidity.”
So with two best friends, several bags, and a honorable sash in tow, I had to ask, “What is one thing that is packed that people would be surprised by?”
Girault stated, “The one thing we did pack was an endless supply of ‘Slap Ya Mama’ seasoning for all the contestants to take home. To be honest, I think it is what we didn’t pack that is more surprising; and that would be self-tanner!”
After several days in the capitol city, numerous memories made, and a taste of Louisiana seasoning to bring back home, the girls get to take the stage tomorrow night. The preliminary competition starts at 8:00 p.m. at the Baton Rouge River Center and will be streamed live on www.missusa.com.