Miss Port Neches Taylor Bui working as role model for all young girls

Published 12:40 am Friday, April 28, 2023

PORT NECHES — Taylor Bui wants to remove the stigma of beauty from pageants.

While the Port Neches-Groves High School junior displays it outside and in, the newly crowned Miss Port Neches said pageants are not about looks.

“I want to show girls that you don’t need to have a lot of money or look a certain way,” she said. “That’s not the point of being in pageants. It really is about making an impact, trying to make the world a better place and showing girls it’s more than just putting on a dress and getting a crown.”

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Bui was crowned April 1 as part of Port Neches RiverFest activities. And she remembers how she felt the moment her name was called.

“Shock. Complete shock,” she said. “There are pictures of my face and my jaw had dropped. It was crazy. It was such an amazing experience. I could hear my parents from the audience yelling my name.”

A lifelong resident of Port Neches, Bui began competing in Miss Port Neches as an eighth grade student, and from there, fell in love with pageants.

“I feel like I didn’t have a lot of confidence growing up, and maybe if I got involved in this, it could help me,” she said. “I like trying to make an impact in the community. It really does have to do with your morals, the things that you want to change and all of the things you love.”

And while competing among peers is hard, there’s also kindness in the kinship.

Taylor Bui was crowned Miss Port Neches April 1. (Courtesy photo)

“Once you hear one of your friend’s name called, all you want to do is cheer for them and give them a hug,” she said. “We all put in such hard work for this, and it’s very rewarding to see your friends achieve something big.”

Bui is involved in theatre, beginning with the Port Arthur Little Theater at the age of 5.

“Grease” was her first performance, and she said it’s her favorite musical. And she remains with PALT, where she’s part of a junior board that hosts a summer camp for kids.

In addition, she’s in all honors classes.

“Sometimes it can be hard to deal with everything, because a lot of work comes with it, but it’s all worth it,” she said. “I really enjoy advanced placement U.S. history. Learning from what has happened in the past and how it put us where we are now is interesting to me.”

But when it comes to history, her favorite is at home.

“My grandparents and parents both immigrated from Vietnam, and I feel like that has also helped me grow into the person that I am — learning about the culture and history of where my parents came from,” she said.

“They grew up poor, and them sharing their stories with me helps me be more of a humble person. I am blessed with such an amazing family and get to go to an amazing school. They didn’t have that growing up, and there’s a lot of places around the world that still don’t have the opportunities I am blessed with.”

Bui is the daughter of Hiep Marc Bui and Mung Victoria Pham, and the sister of sophomore Ethan Bui.