Pretak's story featured on Snapchat's "Shake My Beauty"

Photo submitted
Brian Stockman
Staff Writer

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app used by millions globally and Elk County resident Bailey Pretak was one of the featured stories on the app today.
"We filmed the documentary back in May, and it's been online since then, but I just can't believe how many messages I received today when this all went up on Snapchat," said Bailey Pretak, "it's a little overwhelming."
Pretak is on a mission to show the world that our differences are what make us special and that every person, regardless of what they look like, should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
As a child, Johnsonburg-born Pretak was often ostracized by other children because of her skin. She was born with lamellar ichthyosis, a rare genetic condition that causes the skin to dry out, crack, and shed excessively, according to Pretak. The condition has no cure, and only affects approximately one in every 200,000 people. Because of its rarity, few people understood the reality of Pretak’s condition, often avoiding her out of fear that they may catch her (non-contagious disease). When people did interact with her, it was usually to bully her, calling her name, and asking rude questions about her skin. As she grew older and met others with her condition, Pretak decided to take up performing as a way to help cope.
“The arts… brought me out of my shell. On stage, people see the characters I perform, the music I sing or dance to, and don’t judge me by my skin. I’m using my performances to educate others; the more people who understand the condition, the less they fear it,” she said. “It’s amazing how far I’ve come.”
Now, in her early 30s, she’s accomplished more than she ever dreamed, holding the title of Miss Pennsylvania and using her platform to educate children all over the country.
Pretak started entering beauty pageants in 2014 and has since won the titles of Miss Pennsylvania, Ultimate Queen, and Miss Congeniality –– an award voted on by fellow competitors.

The full article can be found in Nov. 27 edition of the Ridgway Record.