From October 2022
Averie Bishop was crowned Miss Texas in June, the first Asian American to earn the honor. It was the 25-year-old’s third try for the title, all while she was earning her law degree at SMU. And because that apparently wasn’t challenge enough, for the past seven years, she and her mother, Marevi, a Filipino immigrant, have run a nonprofit called The Tulong Foundation that helps impoverished communities with education and clean drinking water. After the jump, learn about her fixation with queso.
What is the hardest part about being pretty? [laughs] Oh, my God. You know, I don’t think I’m—I would say the hardest part is all the free things that I get when I walk into a restaurant. Sometimes I’ll walk in, and I’ll be offered free drinks and free queso.
Your website says you’ve dined with two presidents. Who are they, and what did you eat? President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. George Bush was a really nice, fancy Tex-Mex dinner, and with President Barack Obama, we were in Chicago, and we had hot dogs and hamburgers. It was an outdoor gala–type situation, but it was a seated occasion. Otherwise, it would have [said on the website] “snacks with the president.”
You’ve worn a tiara as Miss Dallas and then as Miss Carrollton. Was your main motivation to win Miss Texas so that you could stop having to explain to people where Carrollton is? I am going to be quite honest. It really was so that I could stop telling people where I’m actually from, because I was born in McKinney and went to school in Prosper ISD for 12 years. I always say Dallas when I’m traveling. But I went to undergrad and law school at SMU, so I definitely lived in Dallas for about seven years of my life.
Your TikTok tells me that you were just doing something called Miss America Rush Week here in town. Was there hazing involved? [laughs] I made that up. It was the official Miss America orientation, and all of the 51 candidates gathered here in Dallas. I got to showcase and highlight all the incredible things Dallas has to offer. I took a group of girls to one of my favorite Korean barbecue places in Carrollton, Gen Korean BBQ House. There’s a huge Asian culture out there. It’s growing tremendously. And I treated some of the girls to their first bowl of queso at Casa Rosa, near Love Field. Imagine all 51 of us Miss America title holders walking into the tiny space of a Tex-Mex restaurant and saying, “Where’s the guac? Where’s the queso?”
“I treated some of the girls to their first bowl of queso at Casa Rosa.”
The Miss America competition is in December. You going to wear your lucky prom dress from junior year of high school? Unfortunately, because of the queso, I will admit I no longer fit in that bad boy. Yeah, that was the dress I wore when I started competing. My mom and I bought that off of a clearance rack. I wanted to save as much money as possible because I needed a scholarship to afford law school.
What’s your talent? I studied musical theater. I do an Éponine song from Les Misérables. No. 1, it’s in my vocal range. No. 2, most girls wear a beautiful ballgown when they sing. I really wanted to wear the costume rags that Éponine wears in the musical theater because I, too, grew up wearing hand-me-downs, and it’s to celebrate how far I’ve come as a human being and how my family and community helped me become the person that I am today.
As someone who represents the whole state, both the red and the blue parts, have you gotten any blowback for expressing your views about Texas’ restrictive antiabortion laws? You know, not really. I think people are just so excited to see someone in a position of influence who is not afraid to speak her mind but to do so in a very delicate and respectful way. I love talking about really hot-button issues through the lens of comedy because it brings us together when we can laugh about certain things but then open up into a dialogue where we really listen to each other. It’s really hard sometimes to break out of our silos and listen to what other people have to say. That’s what I try to do with my social media presence.
I’ve read that you’re interested in running for office at some point. As you know, candidates in Texas are required to curse like longshoremen. So give me your best vulgar campaign insult. Oh no! Oh, my gosh. So let me think. I’m not going to cuss! But maybe if I ever let you on my private friends list on social media, you’ll definitely see a lot of fun stuff there.
I should only be so lucky. OK, good luck in December. Bring that title home. Thank you so much. No pressure, bruh.