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Bell takes home national title at Royal Miss Teen

For Colleton County High School Junior, Kendall Bell, the road to becoming National Royal Miss Teen was paved with self-discovery and learning to overcome obstacles. Bell’s new title came as a surprise to many who knew her growing up, “I’m the tomboy in the family,” Bell explained. Bell said her new passion for pageants has been an adjustment for the people who have known her most of her life, according to Bell when many people hear about her competing they say, “Kendall Bell, the tomboy of Walterboro, who would never even touch a dress is now winning pageants.” Bell said that she joined the pageant world about two years ago when her mother, sister, and her were driving down the road and her mother asked her younger sister if she may be interested in competing in pageants. Bell laughed as she recalled when she spoke up in the conversation, “I said I would like to do them and my mom almost swerved off the road.” Over the past two years Bell has competed in several pageants and has won four titles, “I’ve won Miss South Carolina Agriculture, Miss Rice Festival Sweetheart (2016), Miss Sophomore Cougar, and National Royal Miss Teen,” Bell said. This was Bell’s first National title and is currently seeking local sponsors to help her compete at the Miss America Outstanding Teen South Carolina in June. “Since this was a National title I will go onto to do Miss Greenville Scottish Games which is a part of the American system and after that Miss Teen South Carolina,” Bell explained. Bell’s platform for her pageant is “Speaking for the Unspoken” which is a cause Bell said has more meaning to her than many people know. “When I was three years old I was diagnosed with Asperger’s. Over the years I have been bullied because of it. I wanted so desperately to fit in, I wanted so desperately to have friends, and I didn’t know how to make them. I didn’t know how to make that connection with people and I felt like I was missing something and I felt like I was just flat out weird and there was nothing I could do about it,” Bell said, “I didn’t like myself what so ever, I had no confidence at all, I didn’t know what to do and I felt like I was a crossroads in my life where I couldn’t go any further. I saw how high school worked, I saw the social hierarchy’s, the different types of groups, and I realized I never fit into any spot on the pyramid and it was at that point in my life that I could either complain about it the rest of my life or I could learn to accept myself.” These obstacles that Bell faced in life and are a driving force behind what she wants others to see from her journey. “I have a stutter and I have been bullied my entire life because of it and I want to teach other kids that it’s a problem that you can solve,” Bell said, “You need to accept your flaws and the way you are because that’s what makes you, you!. It’s ok to be you, its ok to stutter, its ok to be different. I just want to teach kids who have the same issues that you don’t need to fit, why fit in when you born to stand out. Your differences and your flaws make you, you and they make you different and beautiful as you are.”

Amye Stivender (218 Posts)