Cleft lip and palate beauty headed for pageant. No bullying any longer.

Will she “Win one for the Cleft Lip -per”?

Pretty girl with Beauty Pagent sash sitting on bed

Katie Barrow ’14 CBC News

While we folks with facial differences often aspire to appear average or normal, it’s not everyday that one of us is singled out for being above average, looks-wise. In Katie Barrow’s case, she’s been selected to be one of the 12 finalists to compete in the Miss Canada Globe beauty pageant in Toronto this summer. This is no Para-Pageant limited to special folks like the eminently-admirable Para Olympics going on in Sochi at this very moment. This pageant’s the real deal.

Bullied for her cleft lip and palate.

Miss Barrows was born with a cleft lip and palate,  had four invasive surgeries, and was bullied for her looks –not celebrated for her looks. She will represent the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in August and is excited about wearing a fancy dress, high heels…and perhaps a crown.

While interviewed by  CBCNews, Miss Barrows had this to say:

—“Being born with a facial difference, I had to deal with a lot of bullying and teasing, and go through all the surgeries.  They had to break my nose and reconstruct it, because I had a curve at the end of the bone. I had to miss a lot of school, and have bandages on my nose. I’d get teased, people would stare at me, ask questions, and I just felt alone.”

—“I didn’t have much fun growing up, but my mom put me in camps that dealt with people born with facial differences. That gave me a lot of courage and self-confidence … we would go over how to cope with bullying and things.”

—“This past summer I went to Toronto to do a leadership program with the same organization. It had to deal with adults all around the world — and after hearing everyone’s stories, I didn’t feel alone anymore because I realized that there were other people born like this. I felt after hearing their stories, I want[ed] to do something for other girls, other people…”

Infant girl in red outfit with gap in upper lip

Barrow had her 1st surgery at 6 wks. CBCNews

This will be Miss Barrow’s first run at a national beauty pageant. Unlike some pageant contestants, she hasn’t made a hobby out of entering pageants.

We wish her luck, but know that whatever the outcome, she has incredible inner beauty.

 

 

 

*For search engines, here is a list of common misspellings of words related to cleft lip and related words:
clef lip
cleft palet
harelip
looksism