Sep 18th, 2019, 11:20 AM

AUP’s own Lucille Befort for Miss Île de France

By Kathleen Sharp
Image Credit: Mateo Galindo
How an AUP alumna has entered the beauty pageantry scene.

After a friend casually mentioned the idea of trying out for Miss Paris to Lucille Befort, 23, her journey into the competitive world of beauty pageantry began. Despite having no childhood or teenage experiences with pageantry, the comment piqued her interest. She decided to give it a go, and from there, “It all happened very, very fast.”

Befort graduated from the American University of Paris in 2018 with a major in Global Communications and a minor in International Business Administration. Since graduating she has kept in touch with her professors, including Matthew Fraser, Jonathan Shimony, Madeleine Czigler, and President Celeste Schenck, current students, and other alumni because, “AUP offers a great network that extends far beyond Paris." Most recently, she attended an event held in the Amex Café with this year’s senior class and other alumni

Image Credit: Mateo Galindo

Befort says her appreciation for the university has only grown since graduation, when she realized how much of a leg up an American education would be in her career path and in competitions, too. In the final rounds of the Miss France competition, all contestants are expected to have a high enough level of English in order to succeed in the Miss Universe competition. She argues the benefits of an international liberal arts education include being culturally literate and aware of the world and its problems. Befort hopes to use her platform to voice concern about the climate crisis. She wishes to advocate for girls’ and women’s education, too.

At 18, Befort moved from the French Alps to Paris for her studies at AUP, a decision for which she will always remain grateful. Befort says that despite being far from the countryside, “Paris feels quite natural,” and as a current resident of Paris she can compete for the title of Miss Paris regardless of birthplace.

Image Credit: Mateo Galindo

Befort competed in the Miss Paris competition this May where she was chosen as first runner-up. Because of the intensity of the competition, the panel judging the candidates decided to send both the first-place winner and runner-up Befort to the upcoming Miss Île de France competition, which takes place this Saturday, 21 September at Espace Pierre Bachelet in the Parisian suburb Dammarie-lès-Lys. 

Her success surprised her: Befort tried to keep realistic expectations and, knowing that she is a newcomer to the scene, she did not think she would come so far in the competition. “I know everyone says they weren’t expecting to win,” she laughs, “but for me, I seriously meant it!” Befort knows that with 16 other contestants, the competition for the Miss Île de France show is staunch. Nonetheless, she plans to give it her all. That way, she reasons, even if she does not place she can finish her pageantry career strong. This is her final chance at the title, as Miss France pageant contestants must be younger than 24. 

Image Credit: Mateo Galindo

The competition will not be streamed or available on television, so Befort encourages anyone interested to attend the competition on Saturday. Tickets are available online.