Logan West, a.k.a. Miss Teen USA 2012, is making a difference with her Unite Against Bullies organization. Having been bullied in middle school, the beauty queen used her negative experiences to help students understand bullying and learn how to overcome it.
Celebrity Teen Scoop chatted with Logan about her anti-bullying initiative, what it was like to win Miss Teen USA, and how her life has changed since claiming the title. Logan also opened up about being a “sucker for romantic movies!”
CTS: You won the title Miss Teen USA title last year. What was the whole experience like?
Logan: “It was absolutely incredible. In all honesty, I don’t think it’s something I can really describe; I never actually imagined that I would win. Competing was fun, so I did it for the thrill of being on stage. Winning was a totally different story.”
CTS: What were your first thoughts when you won?
Logan: “What is happening to me? [laughs] I kept crying. My goal was to make Top 16, but I never thought I would win. Top 16 happened and I started to cry, then Top 5 happened and I kept crying, then by the time I was down to the final two I really thought I was going to faint. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening.”
CTS: How has your life changed since winning the Miss Teen USA title?
Logan: “My life has changed a lot. For one, I no longer control my own schedule anymore, which is kind of nice sometimes. I enjoy being able to balance going to school, being a regular teenager, and wearing a crown and sash on the weekends. This schedule definitely keeps me way busier than I was before.”
CTS: How did you get your start in beauty pageants?
Logan: “I went to a dance studio and a majority of the girls did pageants, so I felt like I eventually would also do them. I read about this one in a newspaper and knew a bunch of girls who had already done it. I signed up for the orientation, got my packet and stuff, and figured that it might as well be something that I tried. I wanted to try one pageant before I went to college. Again, I didn’t really expect to win and I thought it would be something to do over the summer, then move on.”
CTS: What advice do you have for young people thinking of competing in pageants?
Logan: “Do it! I think that a lot of people think pageants are really catty and full of drama, because that’s what the media likes to portray. In reality, it was a really great experience. My group of girls was really tight; we had a great time together. I have grown so much from being Miss Teen USA. You learn a lot from participating in pageants, such as the ability to be in front of people, how to speak to just about anyone, and ways to carry yourself. You don’t necessarily have to win.”
CTS: You created the Unite Against Bullies program. What is the program all about?
Logan: “When I was in 7th grade, I was bullied by a classmate and told that I didn’t act my skin color. I was tortured and humiliated for six months and I decided to turn that negative experience around by creating a program that taught students exactly what bullying is and how to stop it so they wouldn’t have to go though what I went through.”
The program was originally titled ‘Bully Proof,’ and I went around to Connecticut schools to share presentations, interact with the students, and teach them all about the different ways that people bully and how to cope with it and prevent it. After I won Miss Teen USA, my goal was to make the program national. We changed the name to ‘Unite Against Bullies’ and now we’ve opened our Ambassador program. We are having Ambassadors in each state take the program to their area. I started the program because of my own experiences, but bullying takes place everywhere and I want everyone to get involved. This isn’t something that is out of our control; we have the ability to stop it.”
CTS: What do you like to do in your free time?
Logan: “I love movies; I’m such a movie-watcher. Yesterday, I literally sat in bed all day and watched movies. [laughs] It was really awesome. I am a sucker for romantic movies, so Dear John is usually on repeat, as well as The Notebook. I also watched Definitely, Maybe the other day and really liked it. I love the romantic movies that make me think I’ll eventually fall in love like the characters.
I like to eat too, that’s a big one. I’m really into just enjoying what’s around me. If I’m bored and don’t know what to do with myself, I’ll just walk around and see the little local things to do. Even though I’ve lived in New York since July, I have a whole lot more to learn about the city. I like to just go out and experience everything around me.”
CTS: What other upcoming projects do you have?
Logan: “My title ends on August 10th, so I think I’m just wrapping up my title and doing as many community service projects as possible. I start school two weeks after that, so I’ll be continuing with school and doing a little modeling. I’ll just see where life takes me.”
CTS: What else do you have planned for the summer?
Logan: “We are off to Vegas next week for Miss USA, and my sister is competing in a pageant so I’ll watch that. I honestly have no idea what July holds, but I know I have a lot of traveling. That’s what I’ve been told.”