Corner Brook woman representing province in Miss Canada Globe 2014 competition

Diane
Diane Crocker
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Katie Barrow holds up a picture of herself, taken when she was 12 weeks old, before she had the first of several surgeries to correct a cleft lip.

CORNER BROOK  Katie Barrow wants to be a role model for other people with facial differences, especially girls.

“I know how hard it is to be judged,” said the 19-year-old Corner Brook woman who is representing Newfoundland in the 2014 Miss Canada Globe competition.

Barrow said she’d like others to see that they can be born with a facial difference and still be considered beautiful.

“It doesn’t change the person you are ... and that makes us unique.”

Barrow was born with a cleft lip that has required a few surgeries over the years. The first one occurred when she was just 12 weeks old and she will need another in the near future.

“Being born with a facial difference, I grew up with a lot of bullying and I was judged on the way I looked,” she said. “That’s why I got teased because I was so different from everybody else.”

With support from her parents, Donna and Kevin, she said she was able to ignore it for the most part. But there were times when more intervention was needed.

Once, her mother arranged to have the children in her class educated on facial differences. Another time a bully had to be taken to task for her actions. Barrow’s mom still has the letter of apology the girl had to write.

When she was 12, Barrow started attending Camp Trailblazers in St. John’s. The camp is organized by About Face, an organization that works with people with facial differences.

It was there that Barrow learned more about how to cope with the bullying and teasing.

“Going to camps every summer, I’ve built more and more confidence so the bullying didn’t bother me as much,” she said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

This past year, Barrow completed a leadership program with the organization that will now see her return to camp this summer as a volunteer and role model for others.

Her involvement with About Face has even affected her career choice.

Barrow is currently studying psychology at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland and hopes to become a counsellor working with children who are being bullied.

Barrow learned of the Miss Canada Globe competition from Meghan House. The young Deer Lake woman placed fourth at this year’s Miss Canada Globe in September.

“When I heard Meghan was scouting more people for the competition this year, I decided that I wanted to do it because I wanted to basically get my story out there,” she said. “Because when most people look at these competition-like pageants they just think of outer beauty, and I think there’s much more to it than beauty because it’s what’s on the inside that counts.”

Barrow said to be a part of the competition has nothing to do with your height or your weight and participants can be from anywhere and have any cultural background.

Barrow is excited that she was selected to represent the province.

Leading up to the competition, which will take place next August in Toronto, she’ll be doing a lot to get her story out and raise the $3,000 needed to attend.

She has set up a Facebook page.

“The more likes I get on it, the more chances that I can be in the top 10.”

Organizations: Miss Canada Globe, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Meghan House Katie Barrow for Miss Canada Globe 2014

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Canada, Newfoundland Deer Lake Toronto

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Recent comments

  • debbie
    December 11, 2013 - 12:58

    way to go Katie,the world needs more Katie's,good luck ,i'm sure you'll do great,cheers.

  • Artie
    December 03, 2013 - 11:18

    What makes Katie a beautiful person? How about caring, loving, bright, strong willed, courageous, humble, straight forward, and proud. That is on the inside. On the outside, Katie is gorgeous, has beautiful blue eyes, and a smile that is genuine, and I am willing to bet, always present. What? A cleft lip...hmmmm, I was so busy staring at her eyes, I never noticed. Katie, you are beautiful. Bullys are ugly. Remember that! Good luck with everything you do.

  • Kayla
    December 03, 2013 - 09:36

    You are beautiful. inside and out.

  • Belinda
    December 03, 2013 - 00:42

    Congratulations Katie always believe in your self and follow your dreams never give up . :)

  • Colleen
    November 29, 2013 - 15:20

    So excited for Katie! Check out her facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/groups/278444575614067/ also the AboutFace website at: www.aboutface.ca

  • Stephanie Bennett
    November 28, 2013 - 10:10

    I live in Calgary,Ab,but is a newfoundlander. I just read your story and truly know how you feel. I have scolosis (curved spine)and had to wear a full body brace for 4 years when i was 12 yrs old. I was bullied daily and hated to go to school.I spent alot of time being alone. I hated my childhood. But somehow i made it through. I applaud your courage!!! You have been through alot also. I really hope you follow your gut and do what makes you happy. Respect people and live life to the fullest,despite the people who try and pull you down.You are the only person who knows how STRONG you really are. I hope all your dreams come true Katie.GOOD LUCK ON YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS!!!

  • Vanessa Johannessen
    November 27, 2013 - 18:56

    Congratulations girl don't let a birth defect stop you from following your dreams.

  • blaine gillam
    November 27, 2013 - 15:35

    go for it girl you can do it

  • Brian Batstone
    November 27, 2013 - 15:20

    I think that this is FABULOUS. Being the parent of a child who has a facial difference, namely, cleft lip and palate, I understand the challenges she must have faced. SO far we have been very lucky in the fact that she is not teased about her facial difference, if people ask her whats different, she explains it herself!!

  • Joan Knight
    November 27, 2013 - 14:53

    Congratulations Katie! Our province is very fortunate to have you representing us!

  • doug
    November 27, 2013 - 14:11

    Here is her Face book page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Katie-Barrow-for-Miss-Canada-Globe-2014/609443085781438

  • Michael Luedee
    November 27, 2013 - 11:21

    Congratulations Katie. I remember that in elementary school, you always carried you carried yourself in a quiet, graceful manner. Good luck!

  • Helen
    November 27, 2013 - 09:26

    I don't know you Katie, but Go For It!!!!!! Make Newfoundland proud. You are one beautiful woman both inside and out.

  • Carla
    November 27, 2013 - 08:16

    Katie I think you are very bueatiful on the outside and in, after reading your story. I cannot even tell that you had a cleft lip. Im sure you will inspire a lot of people. I wish you all the best and good luck in the pageant.