A TikToker and law school graduate has recently made history by becoming the first Asian American woman to win the Miss Texas title.
Averie Bishop of Carrollton, Texas, won the Miss Texas beauty pageant at the Eisemann Center in Richardson on Friday.
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Bishop, 26, was the 85th winner of the contest and the first Asian American woman to win the title, beating 40 other contestants. She will represent her state at the Miss America beauty pageant at a later date.
“Representation saves lives,” Bishop told Narcity. “I convinced myself for the longest time that I did not deserve to be Miss Texas because I never saw anyone who looked like me represent our state.”
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Bishop, a Filipino American, competed in the near week-long competition, taking part in various interviews and winning the preliminary talent portion for her rendition of “On My Own” from the musical “Les Misérables.”
In a TikTok video of her performance, she told her over 800,000 followers: “Fun fact: I was originally an acting/musical theater major in undergrad before i switched to human rights and went to law school!”
@averiebishop Fun fact: i was originally an acting/musical theatre major in undergrad before i switched to human rights and went to law school! #missamerica ♬ original sound – Aves
Born and raised in the North Dallas suburb of McKinney in Texas, Bishop graduated from Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Dedman School of Law as a first-generation law student last month.
Big congratulations to SMU Alum Averie Bishop ’19, ’22 for becoming the first Asian American woman to be crowned as Miss Texas! pic.twitter.com/EEpFwqKF1E
— SMU (@SMU) June 27, 2022
A current member of Mayor Eric Johnson’s Anti-Hate Advisory Council, Bishop was also a research assistant for the General Counsel of SMU, a Ronald Regan Presidential Foundation Fellow, a U.S. Congressional Policy Fellow in Washington, D.C., a University Interscholastic Scholarship recipient and The Texas Women’s Museum Woman of the Year awardee, as noted on her website.
Bishop, a daughter of an immigrant, co-founded The Tulong Foundation with her Filipino mother in 2015. One of the nonprofit organization’s aims is to help sponsor young students from isolated villages and provinces in the Philippines.
At the age of 19, the Miss Texas winner joined her first beauty pageant in the Miss Asian World circuit, where she won the title of Miss Teen Asian American 2017. She went on to compete in other competitions and besides being the first Asian American Miss Texas, she was also the first Asian American Miss Lufkin in 2019 and Miss Dallas in 2020.
Last year, Bishop was hired as a content developer for a TikTok learning education initiative. She uses the social media platform to connect with its users and discuss stigma within the Asian American community.
Image via @averiebishop