Filled with glitz, glamor, and captivating competition, the Miss Alabama USA Pageant system, under the Miss Universe Organization, “encourages every woman to challenge herself, find her unique voice, and embody the organization’s mission of being Confidently Beautiful.”

The pageant is for more than just beautiful young women. It highlights women who are intelligent and passionate about making a difference. The competition is divided into three phases: swimsuit, evening gown, and interview. Girls from all over the state of Alabama compete to win their city, county, or regional competition to advance to the Miss Alabama competition. The winner of Miss Alabama will then compete for Miss Universe.

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Holding the title of Miss Auburn-Opelika USA is Auburn University senior, Natalie Lamm. From Orlando, Florida, Natalie was not raised as an Auburn fan. In fact, she grew up in a house of Alabama fans, having her step-mother as the only connection to Auburn University. As a senior in high school, Natalie said she liked Auburn because it felt like a “big college with a small-town feel.” After attending a football game and witnessing the Auburn Family in person, Natalie was sold.

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After almost four years, Natalie has a true love for both the university and the Auburn-Opelika community. Living for dinner from The Hound in Auburn and a quick tea from The Well in Opelika, Natalie said she could not love the community more.

Campus is a place Natalie has been able to thrive. She is a member of Chi Omega and the Fly Fishing Club, which happens to be one of her favorite hobbies. Natalie is passionate about the work she does as the Director of Moral of Auburn University Dance Marathon and as a shift lead for Auburn Campus Kitchen. Natalie’s heart for service is deeply rooted in her childhood and has trickled into her Auburn involvement. If Natalie were to win Miss Alabama, she says she would strive to implement community service as a requirement for high schoolers to graduate. Attending a small private school in Orlando, Natalie had a community service requirement attached to her diploma. She said this created empathy, drive, and passion that she is grateful for and she believes it would be a benefit to all high schoolers and communities across the state.

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Post graduation, Natalie hopes to be a retail merchandise buyer, tasked with managing merchandise for retailers. Natalie discovered her love for this industry after realizing she loves to design her own pageant dresses. When she was 11 years old, Natalie and her mom were in a store trying on dresses for fun, when she tried on a gold and silver dress with “a ton of sparkles.” Natalie begged her mom to buy it, but she had nowhere to wear it. The store owner told them about a local pageant, and the rest is history. Natalie has been competing in pageants since and has loved every minute of it. From small local pageants, to the Miss America circuit, now to the Miss USA circuit, Natalie says these have been the most refining and eye-opening experiences. 

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Natalie believes a common misconception of the pageant system is that the pageants are only about beauty. She wants to inform those who are unsure that the women participating in the competition are highly educated, confident, community service-driven girls, who are not afraid to be themselves. Natalie credited competing in pageants for teaching her how to be “confidently herself.” She has greatly benefited from learning how to speak publicly, network, and advocate for the issues she’s passionate about. Natalie has been able to impact the Auburn-Opelika community more because of the pageant system.

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If you want to support Natalie when she competes, she’ll be right down the road. The Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center is proud to host the competition. You can expect day one to be orientation for the contestants, interviews, and the preliminary round that evening. Natalie said this day is “pure adrenaline.” The preliminary round consists of swimsuit and evening gown phases. Night two is the finals, and is a night of celebration. Whether you are crowned Miss Alabama or not, this is a time for families and friends to celebrate the women for their hard work and community service.

Support Miss Auburn-Opelika USA, Natalie Lamm, May 31-June 1, 2024 at the Gogue Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased on the Gogue website six weeks prior to the pageant. Follow Natalie on Instagram @natalie.lamm or Facebook @Natalie Lamm to follow her Miss Alabama USA preparations.