A Spokane beauty queen hopeful wants to use her platform as Miss Nine Mile Falls to spread an important message about inner beauty and self respect to youth across the state.
Rebecca DeLong says it was her rough high school experience that makes this message so dear to her heart.
“I was really badly bullied growing up,” DeLong said. “I was told that I wasn't worth it, that I was fat and that I didn't have the look to be on the cheer squad. It really got to my heart.”
DeLong says she struggled with both self harm and an eating disorder before entering the pageant track and making an important realization.
“It took me getting involved in pageants to realize that I need to love myself,” she said. That discovery and the pain it helped her to overcome is what is encouraging her to continue competing and hopefully launch her non-profit organization – tentatively named Girls United – in a few months.