Valerie Hayes,The Pageant Coach™,” has created an initiative to amplify awareness about ongoing cyber-bullying in the beauty pageant world. As a leading consultant, coach, and expert in positive pageantry, Hayes feels compelled to expose the recent wave of aggressive cyber-bullying in traditional online forums to cease participant self-esteem degradation.
Thousands of beauty pageant participants and candidates are sharing information and posting opinions on social media and online forums referred to as “VoyBoards.” The pageant specific VoyBoards include commentary of event participants with Miss USA, Miss America, Miss Universe, and the beauty pageant sponsored by Univision, Belleza Latina. Even though some of forums are actively moderated, cyber-bullying occurs frequently in the form of coercion and negative comments among contestants.
While the general public is aware of anti-bullying tactics and reprieves in schools, Hayes believes that there needs to be a movement to create awareness for a societal problem that could result in fatalities in extreme cases. Valerie Hayes elaborates, “The core issue here is that bullying is occurring because participants don’t even realize they are being bullied and often don’t know who the perpetrator is. My focus is on educating the leaders of the image industry and its participants on how to help victims: 1) spot the bully behavior pattern 2) block the bully’s access 3) unfriend the bully and their bunch 4) affirm her own self-esteem.”
VANBROS and Associates, Inc., the producer of MISS USA® & MISS TEEN USA® state pageants in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Nebraska has joined Valerie Hayes to support her quest of creating awareness of her online initiative, http://www.pageantbully.com. A promotional 30-second commercial will broadcast live on Pageant Vision, http://www.pageantvision.com, during both the Preliminary and Final Competitions of all VANBROS state USA pageants with the debut on August 30th and 31st during a live webcast of Miss Illinois USA and Miss Teen Illinois USA respectively. The commercial will continue to air during five more state USA pageants throughout the end of the year to continue to teach the public on ways to recognize, stop, and report online bullying.
Hayes’ ultimate goal is to create a movement that transcends the pageant industry into mainstream media to create awareness about the signs of cyberbullying and help victims to cope with positive solutions. During October, which is National Anti-Bullying Awareness, month, Hayes will have an intense media focus on conveying her message, “Ugly is Never Beautiful,” via a media blitz and press campaign.