There She is, Miss America

I had a delightful lunch with Debbye Turner Bell yesterday, and wondered if it’s a bit unique to have three friends who are former Miss Americas.

Debbye, along with Jennifer Berry Gooden, and Shawntel Smith Wuerch, are a joy to know and remind me of one another in several striking ways…

They smile a lot — Each possesses that “sparkle” factor, but not from wearing their crowns (wouldn’t that be funny, if former Miss Americas went around still wearing their crowns.) Smiling is such a wonderful gesture, and all three do this a lot when you’re in their presence.  Smiling makes every woman beautiful. I need to smile more.

They are “others-focused” — I’ve heard it said when you walk into a room you give one of two messages, either “Here I am,” or “There you are.”  These Miss Americas do the latter.

Their beauty isn’t skin-deep — The concept of “natural beauty” clearly applies here, but it’s the internal beauty marks of confidence, poise, and elegance that emanate most. 

They redefine feminine power — Femininity has various meanings, and I like how  these women represent it. Each are married to powerful men yet are achieved in their own right. They love being moms and have strong faith, with a conviction their accolades and platform mean simply being more responsible for making an impact on others.

I have dozens of other women in my life who I’d crown Miss America for the above reasons and more.  Beautiful women light up the world. Let’s all keep shining…


Debbye Turner Bell, veterinarian, speaker, anchorwoman, correspondent for CBS


Nathan and Jennifer Gooden, I worked with Jennifer’s dad at Deloitte when she was young, and Nathan was one of my student workers at ORU, fascinating how paths criss-cross through life.


With Ryan and Shawntel Wuerch this Summer. 

Share the Post:

Related Posts