Oklahoma teen spreading the message of equality through pageant title

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OKLAHOMA CITY - One Oklahoma teen entered a pageant in the metro, not expecting to win, but determined to make a difference.

Mattie Witman is the newly crowned 2015 Miss Teen Oklahoma City/Tulsa, accepting her title in a suit, surrounded by contestants in gowns.

The new title holder said she’s proud to see progress in accepting individuality in Oklahoma.

"There are people who need to be brave, who need to stand up for other people and to show people there is a life outside of imperfect standards of beauty that are put on women," said Mattie Witman.

Out of 60 contestants, she was awarded the crown.

"It's pretty big, but I'm proud of it,” said Witman.

The idea of competing came from a random piece of mail.

"It said, 'You've been nominated for Miss Teen Oklahoma City,' and I'm not sure how that happened. I thought it was a scam at first but it turned out to be a huge opportunity," said Witman.

Witman says she wanted to raise awareness about equality and support for the LGBT community, along with other gender identities.

"Not only can I address things such as beauty, but also can address an entire community that has faced discrimination and continues to face discrimination. It's a small step, but it's a step in the right direction," said Witman.

Witman will go to Florida for the national competition in October, which she believes is another opportunity to spread her message.

"If I can change one person’s mind that you don't have to have long blonde hair and beautiful eyes and have a perfect figure to be beautiful, then I personally feel like I've won," said Witman.

Witman recently turned 18-years-old and is a freshman at OU.

While at the national competition, she will have the chance to win academic scholarships.

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