Life Has Just Begun For Miss USA 2016

by Laura Rosenfeld
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They say, "All good things must come to an end." And yes, that even applies to you if you're Miss USA. The woman who currently holds the title of Miss USA 2016 will soon have to hand over the crown to whoever wins that honor during this year's pageant on Sunday, May 14 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. But judging by what Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber is doing now, she'll be just fine and still very busy once her reign is over.

The first half of Barber's term as Miss USA was certainly busy. As Bustle previously reported, Barber has been making public appearances, returning to her post at the U.S. Army Reserve, and thinking about her next career move, which she'll soon have to act upon in earnest once her reign as Miss USA ends Sunday night.

But I have no doubt that Barber will be on to bigger and better things once her time as Miss USA is up. She has already shown that she is a driven and successful woman who's able to juggle multiple responsibilities at once like it's nobody's business.

So what's next for Barber? Well, perhaps she'll continue to do some of what she's already been doing in the final months of her Miss USA reign. Or maybe she'll move on to try something completely new. Whatever it is, I'm eager to see what Barber has in store for us in the future. Until then, get up to date on Barber's present, below.

She Competed In Miss Universe

As is tradition with the Miss USA competition, the winner of the pageant goes on to compete in Miss Universe, which was held on Jan. 29, 2017 in the Philippines. Barber made it into the Top 9 of Miss Universe 2016, but she unfortunately did not advance beyond that. Miss France Iris Mittenaere ended up winning the prestigious title. But for Barber to make it into the Top 9 out of 86 total contestants is definitely not too shabby.

She's A Real New Yorker Now

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Barber represented the District of Columbia in the Miss USA 2016 pageant. But as the winner of the competition, she got to enjoy "luxury accommodations in a New York City apartment for the duration of her reign." So you better believe that Barber took advantage of her residency in the Big Apple, taking in sights like the Statue of Liberty, snacking on some classic New York-style pizza, and even somehow enjoying the snow that comes with February city living. Now that's how you take on NYC.

She Got A Promotion

Barber earned another exciting title during her reign as Miss USA 2016. She was promoted from First Lieutenant to Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, according to the official Instagram account of Miss USA. Barber has also been passing on some of her strength and mobility knowledge in the form of conditioning drill videos on Instagram.

She's A Bona Fide Fashionista

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Barber walked in another runway show for designer Sherri Hill during New York Fashion Week in February. She also scored a seat at some of the season's most highly anticipated fashion shows.

She Supports Good Causes

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Barber kept her philanthropy going during the final months of her reign as Miss USA, showing her support at such events as the UN Women for Peace Association's March in March Awards Luncheon, visiting the Smile Train doctors at work in Mexico City, and volunteering with Project Sunshine, all in March alone. As Miss USA, Barber has also focused on PTSD treatment for soldiers who have returned home from deployment and suicide prevention in the Armed Forces, according to her official bio on the organization's website, so it'll be interesting to see what causes she focuses on in the future.

She Had An Epic Homecoming

Barber returned to the nation's capital and her hometown of Washington, D.C. in April to be a part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. If you look at her Instagram posts from the day, it doesn't look like she could have been more excited to be a part of the famous annual event and to be back home.

She's Made Friends To Last A Lifetime

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Whoever said you can't be friends with your competitors has clearly never met Barber. It looks like she has struck up a fast friendship with Mittenaere, as well as Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, according to some lovely photos of the women together on Instagram.

Whichever competitor ends up being Miss USA 2017 will be lucky to have a friend — and mentor — in Barber, too.