Hooray for Miss Fauquier

Published 9:19 pm Friday, December 27, 2019

We think there’s a good chance that at this time next year, we could be celebrating the newly crowned Miss America being from right here in Suffolk.

Shelbi Holloman, 24, is a Nansemond River High School graduate who has qualified for next June’s Miss Virginia competition. She is the current titleholder of Miss Fauquier — there are only about a dozen local pageants in the Miss Virginia organization, and candidates are free to enter any of them as long as they meet all of the other requirements.

Holloman started competing in pageants as a child but has taken several breaks throughout her life, first to focus on sports and next to focus on her college education. She now holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees and has set her sights on the Miss Virginia title. She’s also working as an athletic trainer with the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

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The Miss America organization has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, especially in recent years. Hardly recognizable as the same pageant from decades ago, it has ditched the swimsuits entirely and no longer features an evening gown competition, although contestants don one while being judged on their public speaking skills. The Miss America crowned earlier this month — Camille Schrier, herself a Miss Virginia — shunned the typical singing and dancing to perform a science experiment on stage as her talent, perhaps inspiring all of the girls watching that they can do science, too.

Say what you will about the new format, but we appreciate less focus on bodies and more on talent, skills, ambition and desire to make a difference.

We’re certain that our own native daughter, Shelbi Holloman, will take it by storm next year first competing for Miss Virginia and then for Miss America. We’re all here for it and hope you’ll cheer her on, too.