We’ve been following Lex Najarian, former Buckle model and now reigning Miss Nebraska USA, on her road to becoming Miss USA.
After competing in her first-ever pageant, Lex was crowned Miss Nebraska USA this past January! Since, Lex has been busy preparing for the Miss USA competition, which airs live on Fox tonight!
But before stepping on the Miss USA stage, Lex visited our Kearney, Nebraska store for special meet and greet and personal styling experience. She also came by the home office for a photoshoot in her new #BuckleStyle.
We took this opportunity to get to know her better and learn about her platform as Miss Nebraska USA.
Tell us about your in-store Meet and Greet:
The set-up could have not have looked better! This was my first true meet and greet, and it was so flattering and humbling to have people excited to meet me as Miss Nebraska USA! The first girl who came to see me was a pageant girl herself and still in elementary school! She was so sweet and had more confidence than I ever had at her age. I have to assume her confidence came from her pageant experience. I am so appreciative of everyone at Buckle for making it such a fun day and experience!
How was your personal styling session at the store?
I loved it! I can’t believe I had never done that before. The team at the Hilltop Mall Buckle did an awesome job picking out a fitting room full of outfits for me! They were so easy to work with, and balanced my style with the latest trends. 10/10 would recommend!
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What was your favorite part about modeling for Buckle?
My favorite part was the work environment! I always felt like every team I worked with was genuinely happy to work with each other and respected each other. It was a very relaxed environment, in the sense that no one ever seemed super stressed out about a project or task. To me, that gave off the impression that the business was ran very efficiently, and I think that is largely due to the people involved.
Did modeling for Buckle help you prepare for pageants?
Absolutely! Being in front of a camera gave me a huge vote of confidence! It’s definitely still a little weird to walk on stage in a swimsuit and five inch heels, but the experience from modeling for Buckle made me feel far more prepared than I would have felt without it!
What inspired you to run for Miss Nebraska USA?
One of my friends suggested it because she competed a few years earlier and loved the experience. I thought it would be a great opportunity to challenge myself.
What is your platform as Miss Nebraska USA?
My goal for this year is to raise awareness for Lyme disease. Many people have heard of Lyme disease, but don’t truly know what it is or how many people it impacts each year. There are 300,000 new Lyme disease diagnosis each year. Recently, Nebraska Governor, Pete Ricketts, approved our proclamation request for May to be designated as Lyme Disease Awareness Month! The more people know about Lyme disease and how to prevent and treat it in the early stages, the fewer misdiagnoses and undiagnosed patients we’ll have!
Why is Lyme disease awareness and education to you?
My mom has suffered from Lyme disease for 20 years. She was not properly diagnosed until three years ago, so for 17 years she saw every doctor imaginable for her symptoms, which include hearing loss, vertigo, arthritis, hair loss, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. Since her diagnosis, my brother and I have had a few mild symptoms that turned out to be related to Lyme disease and its co-infections. My goal is to have every state to proclaim May as Lyme Disease Awareness month!
How did you prepare to compete in the Miss USA pageant?
There is a lot of preparation that goes into competing for Miss USA. The pageant directors at Vanbros have done an incredible job helping me and the other women in my region prepare for Miss USA. They’ve provided training for interviews, walking on stage, makeup application, current events, social media, mental management, and the swimwear and evening gown competitor. I also met with a personal trainer and was prepped by former Miss USA winners, Susie Castillo and Shandi Finnessey. I’ve have been able to practice all major aspects of the Miss USA pageant, so that we can go in with confidence. Not only has this helped with competing for Miss USA, but I feel so much more prepared for any next steps after this year, because of the skills I’ve acquired and the ability to build relationships with other women who encourage each other to go after their goals.
Good Luck, Lex!
We are so excited for you and can’t wait to see what happens tonight! We’ll all be cheering loud!
The Miss USA competition airs live on Fox tonight at 7 p.m. CST.