Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ageless Wisdom from a 17 Year Old

My last post pondered how Barbie dolls may cause our young girls to focus on unrealistic standards of physical beauty.  And today’s post is in recognition of a local beauty pageant winner. Am I confused? Conflicted? Forgetful?

Maybe, but that’s a topic for another day. Ballston Spa’s Krysta Prehoda was recently crowned Miss New York Outstanding Teen. In an interview with the Ballston Journal she said she grew up watching the Miss America pageant and always dreamed of her chance in the spotlight just like the pageant contestants.  It’s no small accomplishment that she entered the competition and won the NYS title. But what I find impressive is that her motivation wasn’t the ‘beauty contest’, but achieving the exemplary academic performance, volunteerism and social concern, poise and comfort with public speaking and personal character to be considered for the contest. A contestant needs . Krysta chose the Outstanding Teen pageant because the focus is on who you are as a person, not just beauty.

In her moment in the limelight she's speaking out to end cyber-bullying.  While bullying has been around since Colonial children played roil the hoop with a stick and wagon wheel, cyber-bullying is a relatively new crime. Correction... it's  actually it’s the same old bullying, but it’s exponentially more dangerous given the anonymity and ability to reach large numbers with just a click of a mouse or send button on a phone. Technology creates a distance where the perpetrator doesn't need face-to-face contact with the victim. The harassment can follow the victim to every area of life through e-mails, texts and social media.

Every technology has its benefits and its dark side. Cyber-bullying is the dark side of our digital communications. Kudos to Krysta Prehoda for educating her peers and using her moment I the spotlight to speak out and help other teens.  

And her ageless words of wisdom?

“…stay true to who you are. That will take you farther than you think.”

Now that’s a reflection of true beauty… inside and out. Good luck to her!


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