Today I am so honored to share an interview with one of the most inspiring young women I have met through pageantry. Claire Wright embodies everything that Lady Code stands for, so I knew I had to share her story with you all! I met Claire at Miss Universe 2015 through an interview I did for PageantLIVE. Through the interview, I learned that Claire was a former victim of bullying and she has since then created her own nonprofit organization, Project Claire Bear. Claire is also a blogger, student, and your current Miss Teen Washington USA! Claire is currently in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Miss Teen USA competition, so I thought now would be the perfect time to share her story!
What inspired you to compete in beauty pageants?
While being severely bullied in middle school, I was looking for activities outside of school, so I could build up my life away from the people mistreating me. I told my mom I wanted to compete in a pageant, who was initially apprehensive, until I received a letter in the mail the next day asking me to participate in a pageant. We did some research and looked at it as God’s perfect timing. My first pageant was the best experience I could have ever hoped for. I gave a speech on the importance of being kind to others, and that passion has since grown into my nonprofit organization, Project Claire Bear. My confidence grew immensely that weekend and I learned so much about myself, and even placed in the top 15! The experience led me to have clearer aspirations for my career and inspired me to continue competing.
What are you looking forward to the most at Miss Teen USA 2016?
I am so looking forward to spending more time with the girls there! What I love about the Miss Universe Organization is that it gives titleholders the opportunities to spend time together throughout the year, so by the time we get to Miss Teen USA it’s one giant reunion with all of our best friends! Of course I also cannot wait to see who the next Miss Teen USA is, it would be an absolute dream come true to walk away with the crown, but I love knowing that either way I will have the time of my life!
Tell us more about Project Claire Bear and how our readers can get involved:
Project Claire Bear is a nonprofit organization I founded to prevent bullying and promote kindness. After being bullied, I realized I didn’t want other kids to have to go through what I went through, so I have made it my mission to teach kids the tools to stop a bullying situation when they see it occurring. I speak at schools and community centers in my area and really cover all roles involved in the situation, be it the bully, victim, or bystander, because everyone has the power to be the change and be the good. You can go to www.projectclairebear.com to find out more or like the Facebook page “Project Claire Bear” to stay up to date!
You have a strong focus on anti-bullying. Do you have a personal experience with bullying that inspired you to fight bullying?
I have experienced bullying several times in my life and I decided I wanted to do what I could to make sure that other kids wouldn’t have to go through what I went through. I created Project Claire Bear as a way to prevent bullying and promote kindness by speaking out about my story and sharing the tools I learned to educate others on the different roles people play in bullying situations and how to stop it before it gets too severe.
What advice can you give to Lady Code readers that may be victims of bullying?
The most important thing to remember is that it is going to get better. When you’re being bullied sometimes it can feel like your whole world and it can be hard to see past it, but it is so important to remember that it is just a small part of it.
Do you have a favorite blogger? If so, who?
I love Julianne Hough’s blog! She represents young women for our generation so well. She is natural and confident in whom she is and promotes messages that are important to her, while keeping the blog fun. She just opened an active wear line and is so involved in actively making the world a better place; I look up to her so much. She is relatable, approachable, has so much professional and business experience and has so much to share.
How would you describe your own personal style?
My personal style is trendy and chic, yet classic. I love to stay up to date on the latest trends and am obsessed with finding new looks, but I always like to stay classic in my style.
Who is your style icon?
Blake Lively! Her personal style has really grown since “Gossip Girl” ended. Since then, her career has taken off, she got married, and became a mother. The confidence in her personal and professional life shows through her bold fashion choices, but Blake looks just as chic in jeans and a t-shirt as in a ball gown. What I love about her is that she wears the clothes, they don’t wear her.
What are your favorite fashion trends this season?
I am in LOVE with the lace-up trend! From shoes to tops, I can’t get enough of it!
You must be a busy girl! How do you stay looking gorgeous?
First of all, thank you so much! Hydration is the number one thing!! I always make sure to drink plenty of water and maintain an active lifestyle to help me stay healthy and feel balanced. When I’m on the go, I always take my “S’well” water bottle with me and drink from it throughout the day.
What is your favorite new beauty product?
I’m way behind on this one, but the other day I just got a beauty blender and I swear it is pure magic. I love it and it helps me apply makeup quickly and smoothly before heading out for the day!
Who in your life has inspired you the most?
My younger brother has inspired me the most in my life. He has grown up having learning disabilities and has had to overcome so many obstacles along the way, but he has never let that hold him back from giving his all.
What are some of your goals for the future?
Of course a big goal I am working towards right now is hopefully winning the title of Miss Teen USA 2016! My other future goals include graduating college, and pursuing a career as a broadcast journalist. One day I hope to host a national morning show!
Do you have any current or upcoming projects that you’d like to share?
Right now I am definitely in full Miss Teen USA preparation mode! I started a blog a year ago, thewrightwayblog.com, and plan on focusing more on it after Miss Teen USA! It is a fun way for me to share my thoughts and experiences and I am excited about it.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Always remember to be strong and be kind!
Keep up with Claire:
Instagram: Personal: @clairewright12 Titleholder: @misswateenusa
Snapchat: Personal: clairewright12 Titleholder: misswateenusa
Twitter: Titleholder: @MissWAteenusa
Facebook: Personal: Claire Wright Titleholder: Miss Washington Teen USA