Candy MacDonald
Bullying Survivor
Female | Halifax, NS   Canada
Linacy teen went from being bullied to Miss Teen pageant
Bullying Type: Emotional
Posted By: Classy
7/31/13 9:12 AM
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LINACY – Candy MacDonald thought that by entering her daughter in a teen pageant, she’d be able to build up her self-confidence and raise her spirits.

In this case, it was just what she needed.

Linacy native Ryley MacDonald, 14, is this year’s Miss Teen Nova Scotia as part of the Miss Teen Canada World competition. A panel of judges awarded her the title after an interview via Skype. But it hasn’t always been glitz and glamour for the Grade 9 Pictou East Middle School.

“Elementary school wasn’t too bad,” said Ryley. “Middle School has been tough though. I’ve been bullied pretty bad.”

While some of the bullying occurred face-to-face, she said that most occurred on Facebook, Twitter and other online sites. Her mother Candy said she’d sometimes come home crying. Ryley’s experiences were why combating bullying was a central part of her platform as she progressed through the Teen Canada pageant.

While at first Ryley wondered why her mom hadn’t told her about the pageant, her wonder turned to excitement at the prospect of representing Nova Scotia on the national stage.

“She’s a shy person by nature,” said Candy. “It was my hope that this pageant would be the confidence booster she needed.”

Ryley attended the Pictou County Relay for Life before heading to the national contest in Toronto on July 13 until July 21. She joined 65 other participants from across the country. The host of this year’s contest was actor Luke Bilyk, most famous for his role as Drew Torres from Degrassi: The Next Generation.

“We really got to see the city,” said Ryley. “We went to the CN Tower, Medieval Times and lots of stores.”

Their visit also included tours of the Breakfast TV studio and Much Music set. She met Much Music VJ Lauren Toyota. The girls also received walking classes so they would take to the runway in style.

Her mom said for that week, Ryley and the other pageant contestants must have felt like celebrities.

“You can imagine this huge group of girls walking down the street with crowns and tiaras,” she said. “It’d be quite imposing.”

Ryley said there was a lot to learn since she was one of the younger competitors present and since this was her first pageant. Despite this, she was ranked in the top 20 finalists and walked away with the people's choice award, which is voted upon by the general public.

“There were a lot of people helping me out,” said Ryley. “I know I got a lot of votes from people back home. This really helped my self-esteem.”

Now back in Pictou County, she’s willing and looking forward to participating in parades or fundraisers.

“Instead of walking with her head down after this week, she now walks with her head up,” said Candy. “She had a great experience even knowing she didn't walk away with Miss Teen Canada. She walked away with much more.”

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Posted By: Froum | 7/31/13 10:10 AM
Good for her. I'm glad something good like winning this pageant happened for her... I know bullying can be very tough for young kids.
Posted By: FlakeyJakesters | 8/01/13 11:12 AM
I think her winning the miss teen competition was great for her self esteem, and for the kids that hear her story -they may be inspired as well.
Story Details

Name: Candy MacDonald
Age: N/A
Country: Canada
Location: Halifax, NS
Gender: Female
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Maiden Name: N/A
Relationship Status: N/A
Profession: Other
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