Bacon Queen reclaims her crown after cyber bullying attack
RECLAIMING words used against you out of hate can be a difficult task.
However, BaconFest beauty pageant host Bettie Butcher is not only embracing these words, but is also turning them into a profitable opportunity for a bullying prevention cause.
Ms Butcher is a confident woman who doesn't often let opinions of others affect her, but after an incident last year, she was left rattled.
"A guy from America posted a casting call on my page. He was looking for women with cars in the pin-up community to join a Netflix pilot," she said.
"I did some investigating, but there were some alarm bells ringing."
As Ms Butcher boasts over 17,000 followers on Facebook and 5000 followers on Instagram, she thought it was her responsibility to ask if they'll be paid.
"The job description showed how they'd be working many hours on the project, so I didn't want them doing that hard work for nothing," she said.
"Since I asked, he started harassing and attacking me, and he actually hosted a one-hour podcast bullying the entire pin up community in Australia, and me specifically, calling us Bacon Bots."
Ms Butcher said upon hearing this podcast, it was a bit of a shock, but the community rallied behind her.
"I suffer from anxiety like many others in the country, so the situation really hurt me because of it," she said.
"But him calling me a Bacon Bot, and the Queen of Bacon didn't have the effect he wanted on me. Because of BaconFest, people are proud to be the Queen of Bacon. And that's not even me, that's the pageant winner, and they try so hard to reach that position."
Ms Butcher already sells pin-up inspired Bettie Butcher T-Shirts on her Facebook page, and so she had the experience to take shirt sales to the next level.
"My friend said let's turn this into a positive, flip it on its head and do it as a good cause," she said.
Ms Butcher has had a designer from Melbourne volunteer for free to design some new shirts, and she will be printing them in Brisbane.
"I've paired with a lot of people to make proceeds go to Dolly's Dream, to help stop bullying and raise awareness of the effects," she said.
"I'll be reclaiming the Bacon Bots concept with the design, where it's me dressed as a space pin-up, holding a ray gun to blast away the bullies.
"There will also be three little piggies with me, and it'll be really cute."
Ms Butcher said this concept, as well as the choice of charity, was a great way to help inspire people to hone in on rural Queensland bullying issues.
"I can't imagine what kids these days are going through, so anything to raise awareness to the issue is always a good idea," she said.