LUBBOCK, Texas – Taylor Nowell, a Lubbock funeral director earned the Ms. Universe title at the Transcontinental Pageant in Georgia on October 28. Nowell told that her title was the highest distinction. 

The Transcontinental Pageant is a beauty pageant that recognizes “Beauty that Inspires” through showcasing women who are making meaningful contributions to their communities. 

Nowell said the slogan means “doing more with your beauty than just being pretty.”

The cause Nowell and her peers were raising awareness for domestic violence and abuse. 

Nowell said she never saw herself as a “pageant girl” before competing. After looking into the pageant, Nowell changed her mind. 

“I loved the platform of [the pageant] and fell in love with the atmosphere and the people.” 

During pageant week, Nowell and the other delegates visited a foster home and visited with children who were victims of abuse as part of The Pledge Campaign’s service project. At the visit, Nowell gifted the children with a bible. 

The Bible may seem like a silly gift to the kids, but to Nowell, it represents what got her through her encounter with abuse. 

With her new title, Nowell shared she has partnered with Lubbock Victim Assistance and is in the works to help fund funerals for children who have passed away from abuse. As a funeral director and embalmer here in Lubbock, Nowell aims to be the voice of hope for families who are left to pick up the pieces. 

Nowell said she didn’t compete for a crown, but to become a voice. Nowell hopes to “become a voice for those who can not speak.”

Nowell said she learned to not be so judgemental after her experience at the Transcontinental Pageant. 

“You see a beautiful woman and assume she’s never struggled,” Nowell said. 

Nowell initially saw the women she competed against as superficial and was proven wrong after hearing their stories of abuse. 

 “Meeting all these women who [Nowell] initially judged and now see them as survivors, it’s outstanding,” Nowell said.