Humans of Lynchburg: Miss Lynchburg Allie Byrom

A panel of area judges recently named Moore County High School junior Allie Byrom as Miss Lynchburg 2022. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

It’s a moment she says she’s dreamed about for a long time. At first, her name gets called for Most Photogenetic and she wonders if the judge’s are letting her down easy.

“Sometimes, that’s an award you get when you aren’t going to place,” says Allie Byrom, the MCHS junior recently crowned Miss Lynchburg. “But I’d submitted my birthday photos from a local photographer named Nelson Holliman. He’s super talented. I felt excited because he would get some recognition.”

Her excitement soon gives way to worry and then eventually resolve.

“I wanted to win. We all do. That’s why we all do it. But at the end of the day, it’s more about having fun with my friends. As they called the first runner up, I kind of crossed my fingers and hoped my name would be next. But if not, oh well, you just build a bridge and get over it,” Allie says.

As it turns out, she did not need to get over it. After years of participating in the Miss Lynchburg Pageant, a fundraiser for the MCHS senior class, judges finally crowned Allie Byrom as Miss Lynchburg 2022 – something she says she been dreaming of her whole life.

“At first it didn’t register that they’d called my name then I started grinning from ear to ear,” Allie says. “I set this goal for myself a long time ago and it feels great to finally achieve it.”

Allie says the idea to participate in pageants came from her older cousin, Erin Bell, a beauty queen in her own right. After a little nudging from Erin, Allie’s mom, Jennifer, agreed to put her little one in a couple of pageants see what happened. What happened is her tiny daughter developed a big personality and confidence on the stage. The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, Allie says she’s competed in over 30 pageants and gotten some pretty impressive titles.

Locally, she’s won Miss Lynchburg in four different categories: Little Miss, Young Miss, Junior Miss, and now, Miss Lynchburg. She also finished fourth in the Miss Tennessee pageant and earned the Junior Teen Tennessee Valley crown in 2019.

Allie says beauty pageants have allowed her to go places and meet people that she’s have never gotten the chance to experience otherwise.

“I just like playing dress up with my friends.”

The titles and crowns aren’t really the most important part to Allie, especially at the Miss Lynchburg pageant where she knows all the other contestants. She’s a junior and varsity cheerleader at Moore County High School who’s in the National Honor Society and the vice president of the MCHS Art Club.

“Pageants are just so much fun because you get to play dress up with your friends. We talk, laugh, and have a really good time,” says Allie. “Win or lose at Miss Lynchburg, I felt so excited to wear my dress. It looked just like the dress Lady Gaga wore to the Gucci premiere. That’s my favorite movie. I was already feeling great.”

On the day of the Miss Lynchburg pageant, Allie not only competed for the crown but also mentored two younger contestants – a second grader and a fifth grader – earlier in the day. Allie trained them on how to pageant walk, a skill that is as much art as it is mechanics, and made sure to be there to cheer them on during their category.

“Being a role model for little girls in my community is the most important thing.”

Allie says serving as a role model to little girls in the Lynchburg community is why being Miss Lynchburg really mattered to her.

“The biggest thing about participating in Miss Lynchburg is that I get to be a role model to all the younger girls in the community. That’s what matter most to me,” she says.

Allie says she can remember looking up to the Miss Lynchburg winners when she was a child and that their encouragement and support gave her the confidence to try it herself. She says that she sometimes get recognized by little girls in our small town and it always makes her smile.

She also says she plans to continue to participate in pageants for a long as possible because they allow her to promote one of her favorite causes in the community.

“At the larger pageants, you get to talk about your platform and complete a community service project,” Allie explains. “For the Miss Tennessee pageant I did a Take a Book, Leave a Book Little Library as my project. Literacy is so important. You can not thrive without it.”

Allie plans to participate in the spring beauty pageant circuit including the Bedford County Fairest of Fair as well as the Distinguished Young Women of Tennessee program. Both award scholarships and focus on developing leadership in area young women.

In the end, she says she just wants people to know that beauty pageant are so much more that skin deep. She also says that recognition for the exterior is great but that it’s the inside that matters.

“There’s more than just the surface to any person. Sure, there’s the way you look on the outside but the way you treat people is really the important thing. It matters way more than how you look and how you dress.” •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}