A WKU student who competed for the title of Miss Kentucky, is pushing a strong message about a serious subject as her platform.
The issue is domestic violence.
Haley Wheeler, Miss Mammoth Cave Area, is working to bring confidence and self esteem to survivors of domestic violence through her platform in the Miss Kentucky pageant system. It’s a topic that hits close to home because it almost claimed the life of someone she loves.
Haley Wheeler loves make up especially lipstick.
“You can put on all the makeup in the world, for me personally, my look doesn’t come together until I put on a lipstick.”
Her make up mirror is where she thought of a way she could bring attention to domestic violence.
“What I really want to do is show how even a small amount of lipstick can give someone their confidence back that they so deserve.”
As the reigning Miss Mammoth Cave Area Queen, Wheeler adopted the platform “Kiss Domestic Violence Goodbye” and began collecting lipstick. All with one particular victim in mind
“This platform was inspired by my aunt who was a victim of domestic violence for over a decade.”
Haley’s aunt nearly died when she suffered a severed spine as well as broken wrists and ankles at the hands of her ex husband who only received five years probation. Haley says that system failure is what sparks her passion. .
“When they ask about my platform this light turns on and I just go and go and go. I could talk about it forever but my emotions are in the back of my throat and I don’t let it come out I have to be strong for my aunt and all those survivors.”
Haley has taken her message to classrooms and even held domestic violence survivors workshops where she’s offered make up tips to women, including her aunt.
“She walked in the room and saw those lipsticks on the table and gave me a big hug and said I want you to know how much what your doing means to me and also the people affected by this every single day.”
By putting on lipstick, Haley hopes it’s a small step toward a brighter future.
“Putting that chapter of their life behind them where they didn’t feel like they had any sort of worth or confidence that lipstick, hopefully when they put it on, does the same thing for them that it does for me, pulls the look together and they say I’m worth it.”
Haley Wheeler is a sophomore honors college student from Powell County. She’s studying Communications disorders and sciences. She competed for Miss Kentucky in Lexington.