New Miss USA says she was bullied in high school for winning pageants
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@noeliavoigt/Miss USA
Noelia Voigt has reflected on her time in high school in light of her recently being crowned Miss USA.
The 23-year-old, from Utah, has been in the pageant game for almost a decade and won her first competition at just 16.
While she was overjoyed at the time, her then-friends weren't as supportive and poked fun at her for newfound love of pageantry.
This left Noelia 'really hurt' - but she went on to see the whole experience with them as a learning curve.
"I was so excited when I won that local pageant, and it was actually my ex-best friend who was the ringleader of it all," she told Insider.
"I was really hurt and confused as to why people I thought were my friends were making fun of me for doing something that I was really excited about and that I was doing good things with."
Going on to say that 'it really did sting', Noelia soon realized the other girls were just trying to take away the joy of her accomplishment.
She then became involved with a charity called One Love, which helped her educate herself on toxic relationships and friendships.
Sadly Noelia had experienced an abusive relationship while at school, as well as suffering from being bullied.
Joining the foundation was 'eye-opening' for her and helped Noelia realize that 'the issue was not me, the issue was them'.
"I wanted to help people get out of toxic friendships or relationships, because when you're in high school you should be having fun, not dealing with drama or people making fun of you," the 23-year-old went on.
Now Noelia has released her own kids book about anti-bullying which she says she wrote in tribute to a nine-year-old girl who tragically took her own life after being bullied at her school in Alabama.
Fortunately, Noelia's bullying didn't get to this point and now the beauty pageant queen is doing what she can to campaign about bullying and abusive relationships.
According to Insider, the new Miss USA has visited 1,000 students across the US to teach them about the warning signs of dating violence.
In the USA, you can call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: The Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States.
Call or text 988 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Support is also available via live chat at 988lifeline.org.