Mrs. Texas 2014 Whitney Beseda Reflects on a Year of Challenge & Triumph


“The biggest compliment to me is when someone says I'm beautiful on the inside.” – Whitney Jarrett Beseda

Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways to get to know top Dallas models on a personal level. Looking back on a year of adventures, backstage stories, and personal insights, our interviews with Carlotta LennoxMyles CrosbyDaniel Crouch, Sirisha ReddyAtti WorkuTracy RipsinBenn SuedeLiz Standley, and many more, have captured the attention of thousands. Today, with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season drawing to a close, an intimate conversation with the current reigning Mrs. Texas brings life's most important things into focus. Whitney Jarrett Beseda is a model, actress, pageant queen, wife, and career woman, and with each role comes a unique set of challenges – and rewards. For Whitney, life has been far from picture-perfect, but with strength and a loving support system, she’s achieving her dreams. Read on for her story.   Name: Whitney Jarrett Beseda Hometown: Kennedale, Texas Agency: The Campbell Agency Notable Clients: JCPenney, The Gypsy Wagon, MAC Cosmetics, Dapper Magazine, Dillard's, Sally Beauty Supply, Reebok, American Airlines, Schweppes, Belk  

  DFW Style Daily: First of all, congratulations on your crowning moment as Mrs. Texas 2014! Tell us what this title means to you, on a personal level. Whitney Jarrett Beseda: “That moment was surreal and a dream come true. A huge component of this pageant system is our platform, an issue we choose to champion. My platform is lung cancer awareness. I lost my dad when I was 23 to lung cancer, and a few days prior to my crowning was the anniversary of his passing. I miss him daily. The moment I was crowned, I thanked God, and through tears in my eyes, I looked at my family and friends in the crowd. I could feel how proud my dad was of me, as he often told me when he was alive.”   How do you hope to make a difference in your year as Mrs. Texas? “I believe my purpose is to share the facts about lung cancer, break the stigma, and help prevent the disease. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in women; more than breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers combined. It is under-funded and under-researched. “A fun way to donate and participate is the annual Fight for Air Climb in Dallas at Renaissance Tower on February 21. I will be there, not only as an ambassador for the American Lung Association, but also as a climber on my team ‘Skip To My Lou,’ named after my dad.”  

  As a native of our fair state, what do you believe are the standout attributes of a true Texas woman? “There is a sense of pride in Texans. At the Mrs. America pageant I wanted to connect with the girls from each state, and be an example of a strong, warm Texas woman.”   At what age did you enter the pageant and modeling world? Tell us about an early milestone. “My first pageant was Miss Texas USA at age 21, competing with 121 girls. The finals were live on TV, and the personal interview is a crucial part of your overall score. I was so nervous, but I learned so much, and I believe it has helped shape who I am today. Going through a pageant interview has given me confidence to face almost any situation. “Though I did not sign with The Campbell Agency until I was 23, I believe pageants helped my confidence in front of the camera. However, my first job was as a photographer's assistant and representative when I was 15. I assisted at photo shoots and events, and also learned the business side, behind the camera.”  

  Have you encountered any stereotypes or misconceptions along the way? “When people learn that I am involved in pageantry, often those contestant question disaster videos come to mind. Some people are not aware of the fact that half of a competitor's overall score is based on her private interview with the judges before the onstage competition. Only the top five competitors are asked the onstage question. It is quite nerve-wracking, and something to train for in itself.”   As with so many of the multi-faceted models we have interviewed in this series, you are accomplished in a career outside the spotlight. Tell us about your work in pediatric dentistry. “I'm a dental hygienist. Following my Associate's Degree, I attended the University of Texas at Arlington for my Bachelor's Degree while working for a dental hygienist temp agency. I worked at numerous general offices, but when I worked at pediatric offices, I was especially excited. I loved the fast pace, the character of the office, and connecting with the kids. I've now worked in pediatrics since 2009.”  

  As a model ‘Mrs.,’ do you have any tips or words of wisdom for balancing work life and marriage? What is the key to carving out quality time as a couple, in the midst of your busy lives? “Communication is always important for a married couple. My husband, Mark, and I share our work schedules in advance, and stay in touch if a day is running long. I try to schedule shoots during the week, so that they don't take away from our weekend fun together, and on weeknights, we make dinner together and watch a movie. My husband encourages me and supports me in my career.”  

  Tell us about the attributes you admire most in your husband. What is your favorite activity to do as a couple? “Mark is funny, outdoors-y, and family-oriented. I describe him as ‘sneaky funny.’ He comes off shy, but then surprises you with dry humor. We like to plan camping trips to hike, swim, and cook by the fire throughout our great state. Also, besides each other, both of our best friends are our moms. We dream of living in the mountains someday, but hesitate because we'd be farther away from our families.”   What is your favorite way to spend a free day? “In my own backyard, surrounded by a hundred trees, with a fire pit, a garden, and my Texas flag picnic bench, painted for me by Mark. This is my bliss!”  

  What was the last book you read that made a big impact on you?Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle was given to me by my sister-in-law. She went to college with the author. Only recently have I become more comfortable talking about this, but I lost a baby during my second trimester. This happened a few months ago, and I'm still heartbroken. This book is about the adventures of motherhood, but it begins with the devastating experience of miscarriage.”   Do you have a personal role model? What have you learned from his or her example? “My mom is beautiful, charming, fun, and has never met a stranger. She tells me the truth, I can always confide in her, and she is encouraging. My parents were not judgmental of others, but were so loving and giving. Growing up in church, a well-known piece of wisdom made a big impact on me: ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’ The biggest compliment to me is when someone says I'm beautiful on the inside. I know that who I am today is due to my parents and their Godly examples.”  

  Lastly, as we look ahead to a brand new year, do you have any specific wishes or goals for 2015? “I will crown the next Mrs. Texas in April. I want to continue to make strides in lung cancer awareness, and I'm excited for the Fight for Air Climb in February. I have so many people to thank for supporting me throughout this year, I could fill up a page with thank you's! There have been ups and downs, but I never doubt that I'm loved by family and friends, and that God has a plan for our lives. Have a blessed Christmas!”   All photos courtesy of Whitney Jarrett Beseda.  

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