New Miss Teen USA looks to end bullying
Logan West was recently crowned Miss Teen USA and she's already trying to change the world. MSNBC reports the Connecticut native is more than just a pretty face wearing women's urban clothes, as she will be using her title to try and get her anti-bullying campaign, Bully-Proof, off the ground.
The biracial teenager has had some unpleasant firsthand experiences with bullying, starting when she was 12 and people made fun of her for not "acting her skin color." Things got physical as well, as West was suspended from school for getting into a fight with other girls after she had been bullied, kicked and punched. Instead of focusing on the negative, West decided to turn tragedy into triumph by creating her anti-bullying program, which she has been promoting since winning the Connecticut Outstanding Teen Pageant in 2010.
West admitted it was hard to take a stand against bullying at first, but after seeing how open and understanding the fellow teens she's talked to have been, she knows she made the right decision in standing up.
"This is a huge issue to me. Students have been very receptive to the message because it’s a difference between being talked at by a teacher than hearing it from me," West told the news outlet. "I’m a teenager, and I’ve been through it. I was bullied starting at 12 years old and look what I am now."
The Meriden Record-Journal reports West is the first Connecticut resident to win this prestigious title. During the competition she spoke about her desire to "terminate bullying across the nation," and why her past struggles have made her stronger today and better able to be a role model to other young women.
As Miss Teen USA, West will be able to fulfill her goals of traveling around the country to speak about bullying, MSNBC reports. Through her one-year contract, the teen will receive a salary and will attend events on behalf of the organization. She plans to finish up school at Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and is looking to attend the New York Film Academy next fall. For now, West said she is just excited to be able to make a difference.
"I think my work is making a difference, and now I want to target this message to every state because it’s not like there’s only bullying in Connecticut," West told the publication. "I’m just so excited to take full advantage of all the opportunities I have for being Miss Teen USA."
Fans of West who want to dress like her can do so by purchasing the Baby Phat Flower Print One Shoulder Dress.