Isabella Gaines isn't your average beauty queen.
A side-by-side photo of Gaines — one with makeup and the other makeup-free — was featured on the Twitter account that has a bio stating,
...the page where you'll find the prettiest NCOT girls WITH NO MAKEUP! Yuck!
Note: NCOT stands North Carolina Outstanding Teen Pageant.
Instead of allowing herself to be hurt by the mean-spirited post, Gaines responded by posting a collage of makeup-free selfies to Instagram. Her caption said,
Rude or ugly comments hurt and destroy self-esteem. Beauty comes from within.
Gaines' brave response inspired dozens of fellow contestants to follow in her footsteps.
Initially, the movement was confined to Gaines' fellow contestants from Miss North Carolina's Outstanding Teen Pageant.
#nomakeupselfie Nobody deserves to be bullied for not wearing makeup! Love yall @KenzieHansley @bellagainess pic.twitter.com/5jRIYHZkx7 — Kayla (@kaylafaith00) July 1, 2015
But soon, people from all over the country began posting their own selfies in support of her cause.
I'm not a miss' in any way, but cyber bullying is rediculous. Makeup doesn't equal beauty, supporting @bellagainess ! pic.twitter.com/jbjF1IqnQ8 — Megan Scuron (@Mscuron) July 1, 2015
Even Miss America joined in.
Sadly, the bully behind the NCOT no makeup account has yet to stop.
@bellagainess I'm honestly so proud of you and this movement. Keep doing you, you gorgeous lady. #NoMakeupChallenge pic.twitter.com/NbXs69AdMy — Zoe (@zoe_gaye) July 3, 2015
But there's strength in numbers, and these brave beauty queens won't let the haters drag 'em down.
Supporting the @mncoteen contestants! #StopCyberBullying #DELovesNC #Sisterhood #BeYOUtiful #StandWithNC #MDOTeen2008 pic.twitter.com/0qPttqDMtY — Amanda Debus (@RealADebus) July 2, 2015
They're more beautiful without makeup, anyway.
I am LOVING this movement. #nomakeupselfie #iwokeuplikethis #Flawless WE LOVE YOU @bellagainess pic.twitter.com/kpxV7BKdJb — Lyndsey Stephens (@BabyLynssss) July 1, 2015
Beauty isn't about the color of your eyeshadow or the shimmer of your lipgloss.
@bellagainess you are beautiful both ways and I feel beautiful both ways too. Keep rocking the #nomakeupselfie pic.twitter.com/hl2R4uH91N — Kenzie Hansley (@KenzieHansley) July 1, 2015
It's about who you are and how you treat others...
#nomakeupselfie pic.twitter.com/cfI9aW4m50 — isabella noel (@bellagainess) July 1, 2015
...and that makes these brave ladies the most beautiful women in the world.
I'm comfortable with who I am and I will always stand up for my friends! #ImMe @bellagainess I love and support you pic.twitter.com/ehx4LyK2J7 — Grace Dirig (@dirig_grace) July 1, 2015