Behind the glamour of the crowns, beaded gowns and adoring fans, Logan West, the newly crowned Miss Teen USA 2012 recently opened up about her personal struggles with bullying while growing up. And we’re loving everything about her.
She’s the first Miss TEEN USA from Connecticut, and the fab chick is already making some waves!
“I’m starting to believe now that I would rather have a bruise than have someone tear a piece out of me with their words,”Logan West told the Hartford Curant. She was just crowned 2012 Miss Teen USA on Saturday.
Though she has been praised publicly for her beauty and poise (in addition to being very well spoken we might add), Logan recently came forward with the pain she experienced being tormented by classmates growing up. And she’s made it one of her causes as the new Miss Teen USA.
Logan, the offspring of a black mother and a white father (both of whom were at the pageant in the Bahamas on Saturday to see her get crowned), says she was often teased for the way walked and talked. And for “acting white.” But the college-bound 18-year-old chose to turn the other cheek back in the 7th grade…..and she says it was a big mistake.
As a middle-schooler and high school freshman, West said she was bullied for “not acting her skin color.” She was punched, kicked and stabbed with umbrellas by a group of bullies until it escalated into a fight where she was suspended from school. During her suspension, she came up with her own anti-bullying program that she began promoting around the state after winning the Connecticut Outstanding Teen Pageant in 2010.
“I waited so long to say something that it was almost my fault,” she said.
The torment went from trash-talking to one person throwing a “chewed” quesadilla at her. And Logan recalled throwing a wad of rice at her.
“Instantly, I knew it was wrong. And my bully got up and punched me right in the face in front of everybody.” Both of them got suspended for two days. “I loved school with all my heart. I wanted to be up every morning. I was ready to go. I did my homework. But when I was being bullied, I found every excuse not to go to school.”
As a result, Ms. West has created a program called “Bully Proof: Empowering Children Today to Prevent Bullying Tomorrow.”
As for what she’d say if she could speak to her bully today:
“I’d say thank you. Because if it weren’t for her I would not have the confidence or the strength that I have right now. I gained this whole new sense of strength that I can teach youths how to protect themselves from this horrible epidemic called bullying.”
The 5’7 beauty said in a statement to MSNBC:
“Being Miss Teen USA will give me the opportunity to educate students about bullying on a national level and share my story. It wasn’t always easy, but my parents made sure that I learned how to cope with it and ensure that I didn’t stay introverted.”
“I lost who Logan was when I was being bullied, but I found that participating in pageants helped me find ‘her’ again as well as gain the confidence to be a role model and voice for others. During my reign, I hope to share with teens the importance of being true to yourself.’’
Great cause Logan!
Miss Teen USA Connecticut Web Interview