“If I could change one thing I would change the impact social media has on the way we see ourselves. Social media has started to cause a frenzy on how youth grow up to see themselves. Most teens and youth started to judge their bodies and compare themselves to models and other people who are ‘skinnier and prettier.’ Teens need to realize that they are not the person on the screen and should accept themselves for who they are.” – Scotia Mackenzie
By Lisa Joy
Thirteen-year-old Blackfalds resident Scotia MacKenzie was crowned Miss Teenaged Central Alberta in Calgary on March 12 and it’s an experience forever etched in her memory.
“In the moment that my name was called during crowning, I was suddenly filled with a rush of energy and excitement,” she said. “I looked over to my friend I had met at the pageant who had been crowned a couple people before me and I smiled at her with the biggest smile ever on my face. I was filled with self-positivity and I became very proud of myself.”
Scotia wanted to run for Miss Teen Alberta so she could be a role model for other young ladies in her community, she said.
Headed into the competition, Scotia, a Grade 8 student at St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School in Red Deer, wasn’t afraid to try something new.
“Before that, I hadn’t worn heels very much in my life so for about a week before I did everything around the house in my heels.”
At the competition the girls had a training day with a choreographer who taught them how to walk, stand, talk and choreography.
She also had a lot of support from her family as she competed for the first time.
“My main help throughout this entire process has been my mom. My mom, Shalynn Morgan, has helped me with organizing and gathering information and gaining sponsors, organizing events and fundraising. She has given me advice and opinions and helped me through every decision I have made so far in this pageant time.”
While competing, Scotia made lasting friendships.
“The amount of support I received from my fellow delegates at the competition is something I will never forget. I came into the pageant really nervous and very quiet, which is very unlike my regular personality. Almost immediately, I was introduced to the beautiful Lilah Murphy (Miss Teenage Edmonton 2017) and Amanda Lohouse (Miss Teenage Northern Alberta 2017) and we became very close very quick.”
Scotia is a competitive cheerleader and junior coach at Premier Academy.
“I spend most of my downtime either practicing with my team or coaching little girls how to accomplish new skills,” said said. “I also enjoy spending time with all of my friends and family. Living in a growing community like Blackfalds, I have befriended tons of people my age that I spend time with hanging out at local places such as parks and at the local Tim Hortons.”
Scotia also likes to learn continuously.
“For the past year and a half, I have been teaching myself American Sign Language (ASL) so I can expand my communications with people. I have learned many words, phrases and sentences in ASL and I am still continuing my knowledge of that language.”
After she graduates from high school she wants to pursue a bachelor of education degree specializing in special education.
“After college, I plan to have a good stable career as a teacher for those with disabilities, both physical and mental. If I don’t continue to be a special education teacher, I still would like to pursue a job working with the disabled, as an ASL interpreter or an occupational therapist.”
For now, however, Scotia is focused on the nationals and is headed to Toronto in August to compete for the Miss Teen Canada title.
“I look forward to the new experience it will give me as a young lady aspiring to create a difference in my community to help the greater good. I also cannot wait to meet all the other fantastic women from all over the country. I am so stoked to learn more about different cultures and ethnicities.”
Scotia needs sponsors to help with travel costs and her fundraising initiative for Free the Children charity.
“I just completed a bottle drive to help with the first part of my fees, which will get me my sash and my entry to nationals. Otherwise, I am starting to get more out into my community and searching for conferences or school pep rallies where I can come in and do some public speaking on multiple topics like bully, self-acceptance and self-esteem.”
To follow Scotia on social media and contact her go to
https://twitter.com/teencentralab17 and https://www.facebook.com/MissTeenageCentralAlberta2017/ or https://www.instagram.com/miss.teencentralab2017/
Scotia may only be 13 but she is wise beyond her years.
“If I could change one thing I would change the impact social media has on the way we see ourselves. Social media has started to cause a frenzy on how youth grow up to see themselves. Most teens and youth started to judge their bodies and compare themselves to models and other people who are ‘skinnier and prettier.’ Teens need to realize that they are not the person on the screen and should accept themselves for who they are.”