“Dazzling”; “Vibrant”; “Beautiful”; “Plain”; “Failure”; “Imperfect”
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” and “a harsh word stirs up anger”; Proverbs 16:24; 15:1
Every day I tell myself I could have done better, could have been better, should have worn the other dress, need to get rid of my baby belly. There are millions of thoughts that race through my head on any given day, I am my worst critic. Always looking for the acceptance and approval of those around me and like many, I fall short.
Bullying, according to Wikipedia, “is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate or aggressively dominate others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual.” It is excessive, it is meant to tear a person down, to make them feel small and unwanted.
It’s not just that kid at school who takes your lunch money, or gives you a wedgie. It’s online, it’s with our words, it’s a video that goes viral and so much more. It’s all encompassing, has no boundaries or age limit and one in four will be affected by it.
This is just one of the many platforms that are supported by those who compete in pageants. For these young women, it doesn’t just end with “the crown” they are encouraged to get involved by doing acts of community service. They are “giving back” and making a difference.
In April of 2014 Olivia Pierce founded Raise Your Crown against Bullying . It is a nonprofit dedicated to bringing awareness to bullying. It’s is a simple concept, but powerful. As of September, 2016 it has received over 3,000 likes on Facebook and has reached people from New York to California, even across the ocean to Ireland, with more than 700 pictures of supporters “raising their crown”.
The idea started with a pageant and a desire. Her desire “to help show other kids that are bullied that they are not alone.” Raise Your Crown empowers those that are bullied through acceptance, by showing them that it’s OK to be just YOU.
ACCEPTANCE, something that we are constantly striving for. It gives us purpose and direction. It’s everywhere and follows us no matter how old or young we are.
When Olivia entered her first pageant she was simply looking to build self confidence. She not only found her confidence, but found a way to be the voice for others.
“When we stand together, no one stands alone.” – Anistyn