Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Q&A with Brittany Oldehoff, Miss Florida who attended FAU

Former FAU student and model Brittany Oldehoff was crowned Miss Florida this July. Photo courtesy of Brittany Oldehoff.
Former FAU student and model Brittany Oldehoff was crowned Miss Florida this July. Photo courtesy of Brittany Oldehoff.

Crying, with a huge smile on her face, Miss Florida waves to the crowd. Brittany Oldehoff, who was crowned on July 13, was supposed to be a model — not a pageant queen. But, she says both careers were accidents.

Starting as a ‘tween,’ skinny and nowhere near the skyscraping height she stands today, Oldehoff began taking modeling classes.

“My mom put me into John Casablanca’s when I was I think 10 or 11-years-old, and just because she didn’t know how [to] teach me how to do hair and makeup, public speaking, and all the things … she wanted me to learn from somebody that was a pro.”

Turns out the classes were a good call because, “Lord behold it. I ended up being 5’11.”

Oldehoff started taking modeling seriously around the age of 18 and from there, made it her full time job. But something was still missing.

“I’ve watched Miss USA since I was a little girl, and I’ve always wanted to do the pageant system but I just never knew that I could because for some reason, give or take, I thought that you couldn’t as a model. And once I found out that [other models] had done it and their experience, I signed up right away.”

Now, the model has some hefty appearances under her belt, such as Project Runway, a Conair hair commercial, and the cover of GQ South Africa.

But even with all of that, Oldehoff was still crying in anticipation before being crowned this year’s Miss Florida. The Miss Florida winner goes on to represent Florida in next year’s Miss America competition.

Oldehoff is not only Florida’s newest title holder, but an FAU graduate. But according to College Magazine, runway royalty graduating from FAU isn’t a new concept. In fact, it ranked FAU number nine out of the “Top 10 Colleges with the Hottest Girls.” Move over Owlcatraz and president scandals — it looks like our school is also known for its pageant queens.

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Check out the UP’s exclusive interview with Oldehoff below:

Q: What was it like when you were announced as Miss Florida?

A: Um, right before I was trying to keep it together. I started crying actually before they even announced the winner because standing up there, I’ve never had that moment where it’s like you never know. It could be either or. And when they finally called my name … my jaw just dropped. Only because the girl I was sitting next to had competed in pageants for four years, was the first runner-up in California and the second runner-up in California. I had never done a pageant aside from when I was in Miss Fort Lauderdale. So I was in total shock. I was in awe.


Q: How are you preparing now for Miss USA?

A: The preparation for Miss USA, my team wants to start three months before but we’re gonna start six months before. So right now it’s just strictly appearances, and getting my headshots and banners done. And then come January is when we’re gonna start.


Q: What was your favorite part about the Miss Florida pageant to be in?

A: During the week, probably hanging out with all the girls. I know there’s a lot of stereotypes on pageants that the girls are mean, but they’re really not. I promise you they’re really not. You kind of hang out, it’s like a sisterhood. You meet a lot of different people from a lot of different places which is nice. And then as far as the competition goes, probably the swimsuit because everybody loves the swimsuit portion.


Q: What’s your typical day as a model like?

A: Well, I actually just had … Fashion Week. That’s why my voice is all scratched out because I’m so tired from the whole week. But a typical day from that is, gosh, from eight in the morning until about 11 at night, it’s back-to-back-to-back fashion shows. During the season, you can get a call whenever. You can work once a month, you can work ten times a month, you can work twenty times a month. You never know when you’re gonna get called. So while you’re waiting to get called you have to go to what are called casting calls, and those can be absolutely whenever. So it’s just whenever they give those to you.


Q: So you’ve studied criminal justice at FAU. Were you a part of any of the clubs at the school?

A: No. Unfortunately I was two years at Broward College and then two years at FAU. So I finished at FAU because I had Florida Prepaid. And because of modeling, I only did online classes. My last semester I had one class on-campus and that was it.


Q: How did you benefit from your experience at FAU?

A: It was great. Everything was really easy. As far as, I never really had to go to campus which was nice. The semester that I did, I mean the parking was easy for me. I mean I always hear rough things about parking, but it was good for me. I would get a spot in no problem. I mean the navigation where the cars are parked in accordance to where your classroom is was not far. You can walk the whole campus in like ten minutes. It was really convenient, and especially the online classes. That is so convenient and set up so easily.  


Q: What advice would you give to anyone looking into pursuing modeling?

A: It depends what type of modeling you’re looking for. If you’re looking for fashion, swim, the type of modeling that I do, the realistics behind it — in the industry you have to be tall. I think 5’8” is the minimum now in Miami, and if you’re looking to go along something that line, you need to be 5’8” in order to do swim and fashion and make the castings, and get with an agency ‘cause the only way that an agency’s gonna find you is if you have that height, and once you get with the agency, you get all the jobs. So your best bet is go to an agency.


Q: So what’s your favorite thing about modeling?

A: My favorite thing about modeling is definitely the all-expense-paid travelling. You get to go to a lot of different places, and still get paid for it so it’s great.


Q: How did you get onto TV shows such as Project Runway?

A: Project Runway was actually an open call/cattle-call casting, which is a very large casting of girls. I was late to the casting so fortunately I didn’t have to wait in line. But there was a casting in Miami that probably 700 girls went to … and they ended up picking me. You never know. You never know if you’re gonna get it. You never know if they’re gonna like you. You never know.


Q: What was the most memorable experience in your career?

A: Probably doing my Conair hair commercial. They flew me to New York for like three days. I stayed in a really nice hotel and we shot in a mansion which I’ve never seen in New York City. I’ve never seen a mansion in New York City. I didn’t realize they’re attached to all the other buildings. So beautiful when you go inside. That had to be my best experience.


Q: What was your first big break?

A: My first big break was probably Project Runway. They set a lot off for me. I got a lot of magazine covers, my bookings went up, I got a GQ cover, and after my GQ cover went out my bookings got even higher. So I have to give the credits to Project Runway honestly.


Q: What does your diet and fitness routine consist of?

A: My diet and fitness routine mainly consists of when I’m trying to lean out for something, I only eat protein, protein and veggies. That’s it. Like you will not see bread in my hands. And as far as the gym goes, I lift weights. I do like cardio only because my body is –– I’m naturally tall and thin, and if I do cardio too much I get really really really sickly skinny so instead I lift weights to try and counteract that.


Q: Would you consider pageants a dying art or something that is still popular today?

A: It is definitely still popular today. Many young girls and young women join for self confidence and friendships. It is definitely a great stepping stone to more opportunity.


Q: How did you feel about the Utah screw up where Miss Utah Marissa Powell messed up when answering the Miss USA question about women making less money than men?

A: I was actually sitting in the audience when it happened and to be completely honest I think that wording of the question was delivered very unfairly. It was extremely confusing, and even when I heard it I was scared for her before she even answered. Also, people need to understand that it is very nerve racking to stand up in front of thousands and answer a political question, especially if you don’t understand the question being asked.


Q: Do you think it’s easy to make mistakes like that when answering these questions?

A: I honestly think it depends on how the question is delivered. If it’s delivered correctly, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


Q: What do you think about the questions they ask in pageants?

A: I feel that sometimes they can be too political, but if you are running for the position of your state or country, you should at least understand the basis behind them.

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