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Volume 70, Issue 147, Thursday, June 16, 2005


Cougar has eyes set on Miss USA

Incoming freshman already holds teen title

By Matt Dougherty
The Daily Cougar

Since the age of 15, former Miss Teen USA and incoming UH freshman Magen Ellis has been competing in beauty pageants, dreaming of competing in Miss USA.

Currently holding the Miss Fort Bend County title, Ellis hopes her years of hard work will pay off when she competes in the Miss Texas pageant, June 26 in Laredo.

"I am really excited," Ellis said. "Ever since I was a little girl I've wanted to be like the big girls that you see on TV someday."

Magen Ellis, incoming UH freshman and former Miss Teen Texas, will compete in the Miss Texas pageant later this month and hopes to advance to Miss USA.
Anna Reyes/The Daily Cougar

The first pageant Ellis competed in was the Miss Tyler Teen pageant, in which she received first runner up. Ellis said that she never felt any pressure from her parents, but chose to pursue pageants on her own.

"I have always supported what Magen has wanted to do," said Celyna Ellis, the teen's mother. "It was entirely her idea, and I was behind her decision."

If Ellis were to be crowned Miss Texas, she would be eligible to compete in the Miss USA pageant later -- but that is not the only incentive. Along with the crown comes a new Ford Mustang, a one-year wardrobe allowance, an apartment in Houston, jewelry, including an $8,000 diamond ring in the shape of the Miss Texas crown and free salon hair-care for the remainder of her reign. The prizes are nice, but they bring a lot of work with them.

"Miss Texas is expected to represent Texas and be at appearances all throughout the year," Ellis said. "Usually Miss Texas takes a year off from whatever she is doing, because it really is a full-time job. I think that it is important to be educated so I have decided that if I win, I will stay in school my first semester for sure. I was Miss Texas Teen my junior year in high school, and I handled it well."

Ellis dispelled some pageant stereotypes. She said that many of the girls are good friends, and it is only the ones who are not confident in what they are doing who have bad attitudes.

"I am going to do the best that I can do," Ellis said. "You have to be relaxed. If you aren't relaxed and you aren't comfortable, you're not going to be nice."

This year's Miss Texas pageant winner will advance to the Miss USA competition. The woman crowned Miss USA then competes in the Miss Universe pageant.

"I really want to be Miss USA someday, but there are circumstances that may prevent me," Ellis said. "The judges may be looking for a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl this year. You just never know."

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