New Miss Minden has message of hope

By Paige Nash

From an 8-year-old with low self-esteem and body issues to the now confident and nothing but positive thinking Miss Minden 2023, Jacie Brent could give her younger self loads of advice. Although that is not possible, she will now have a platform to share her message in hopes of reaching other young girls of all ages.  

Brent’s platform, Nothing But Positive, focuses on replacing negative thoughts and words with positive ones to aid in encouraging self-love, self-worth and self-esteem.  

“I still struggle with self-worth every day, so I understand how hard it is to retrain your brain not to think negative thoughts and to replace them with positive thoughts,” she said. “As Miss Minden, I plan to emphasize the importance of positive self-talk because positivity begins in the mind.” 

In a world where it is common for others to be shamed for not fitting into a certain mold or living up to society’s standards of beauty, this message is much needed. This has always been an issue, but with the rising popularity of social media, it has become even more prevalent. Social media comparison is at an all-time high, which in turn has also led to steadily increasing numbers of young people struggling with issues like low-self-esteem, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and suicide.  

“Both men and women are shamed openly for being overweight, underweight, too tall, or too short by society’s standards,” said Brent. “Not only do people hear it from those around them, but many often do what I have done in the past and engage in negative self-talk, getting angry at themselves for not fitting into that ‘perfect mold.’ I want to spread my message of self-love and positivity everywhere I go, so no one is made to feel unaccepted because of how they look.” 

It is Brent’s goal to share her message about the power of positive thinking, so that they can love and accept themselves, and in turn join her in spreading that same message of self-love and acceptance to others in hopes of making the world a little bit better.  

“I have had little girls and even some teens come up to me after pageants or leave me messages on social media telling me what an inspiration I am to them and that really warms my heart,” said Brent. “I strive to be a positive person, but to be honest some days it is really hard. I recognize that loving the skin you are in can be challenging at times, but I will continue my journey to do just that, and I invite everyone else to come along. Together, we can make this world a more positive place for everyone, one day at a time.” 

Brent is not only an example of positivity, but also prevalence and persistence. This year was her third time competing for the Miss Minden title and this will also be her third time competing for the Miss Louisiana crown. Brent has previously held two other titles, Miss Cane River 2020/2021 and Miss North Louisiana Bayou 2022.  

Her sister, Sharity, was crowned Miss Minden in 2019 making them the third set of sisters to hold the title. It was a dream of theirs that Sharity would be able to crown her sister the year after her reign even though that did not happen, they were crowned together later that year.  

“My title was Miss Cane River and hers was Miss Red River City, and the Cane River is formed from the Red River. We were affectionately referred to as the ‘River Sisters’ when we competed at Miss Louisiana 2021. That was such a special experience that we got to share together,” said Brent.  

Over the last few years of competing in the Miss America system she has earned $5,000 in scholarships, which includes the $1,500 she earned this year at Miss Minden. She has also been the recipient of the $1,000 “Women in Mass Communications” award for the past two years at the Miss Louisiana competition.  

In 2021 Brent graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Louisiana Tech University. After spending a few months traveling and spending time with family and friends, she began her job search which landed her at the Ruston Daily Leader where she works as an Advertising Executive. She also serves as the Lead Photographer and Manager in training at the Selfie Stop in Ruston on select weekends.  

She may already be busy, but she is looking forward to serving and supporting the community in as many ways as possible during her year-long reign as Miss Minden 2023.  

She said, “I want to attend every local event that I am able to attend and really get to know everyone in Minden and the surrounding areas even more. My hope is that every person I meet walks away feeling like I truly care about them because I do.”  

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