Pageant Contestants Started A #NoMakeupSelfie Trend To Combat Cyberbullying
Even pageant queens aren't immune to bullying.
Isabella Gaines is a teenage pageant queen from Wilmington, North Carolina, and the reigning Miss Greater Port City’s Outstanding Teen.
Last week, a Twitter account posted these side-by-side pictures featuring Gaines both with and without makeup, with the caption, "This is the same person in both pics amazing what makeup can do. 😍"
Gaines told local NBC affiliate WNCN that when she saw the tweet she was hurt at first, but then took to Instagram to address it with a collage of pictures and an inspirational message.
On Instagram, Gaines wrote that she found the tweet to be "offensive and degrading."
She went on:
I used to be very insecure about how I looked without makeup, but I am comfortable in my own skin and have accepted I am not flawless because I know I'm made in God's image. In order to remain kind I follow what I perceive to be the Golden Rule which is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Rude or ugly comments hurt and destroy self-esteem. Beauty comes from within. I just wanted to remind everyone that you are all beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made in God's image.
The account continued to post more photos of local contestants with and without makeup.
Fellow pageant contestants from North Carolina took note and started tweeting pictures of themselves before and after wearing makeup with the hashtag #NoMakeupSelfie in hopes of combating cyberbullying.
The trend picked up steam and pageant contestants from all over started tweeting their pictures with the hashtag.
Even Miss America posted her own #nomakeupselfie.
Gaines joined in on it by tweeting her own #nomakeupselfie photos.
She says the trend has taken off and she's gotten responses from all over the map.
"I got inboxes from people from Massachusetts and New York saying you are so inspiring and that it really helped me and that they were bullied too," she told WNCN, "and they started sharing their stories with me."
Gaines added, “It is just so amazing that everyone feels so empowered by it.”
BuzzFeed has reached out to Gaines for comment.