Our Black Has Always Been Beautiful: Now 4 Pageants Have Caught Up

(Photo credit: @zozitunzi instagram)

Remember when you used to watch pageant shows and you’d be rooting for the Black woman to win, but knowing in your gut that she wouldn’t get it. I mean, we always knew we were queens, but we were waiting for the world to catch up and acknowledge it too.

Over the years, we have seen a shift with more and more women of color getting the top spot. And now, for the first time ever, four Black women simultaneously hold titles from America’s biggest pageants!

Earlier this year, Cheslie Kryst, Kaliegh Garris, Nia Franklin, were named Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss America, respectively.

Now, the highest title, Miss Universe, was also given to a woman of color, Zozibini Tunzi, who is from South Africa.

“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful. I think that it is time that that stops today,” said Tunzi

More than 90 women from across the world took part in the pageant which was held in Atlanta in the US on Sunday.

Zozibini beat Puerto Rico’s Madison Anderson and Mexico’s Sofia Aragon in the final three to take the tiara.

In her final question, 26-year-old Zozibini was asked what we should be teaching young girls today.

Her answer was leadership.

“It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time – not because we don’t want to, but because of what society has labelled women to be,” she said.

“I think we are the most powerful beings on the world, and that we should be given every opportunity.

“And that is what we should be teaching these young girls – to take up space.”

(Photo credit: Nia Franklin @niaimanifranklin instagram)

Both Kryst and Garris received props on social media from fans and celebrities alike for rocking their natural hair throughout the national competition.

Cheslie Kryst, a 28-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, was crowned as the pageant’s 2019 winner at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada.

For her last question in the final round, she was asked whether the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have gone too far.

“I don’t think these movements have gone too far,” she said. “What #MeToo and #TimesUp are about are making sure that we foster safe and inclusive workplaces in our country.

“As an attorney, that’s exactly what I want to hear and that’s exactly what I want for this country. i think they’re good movements.”

Kryst practices civil litigation for a law firm and also does free legal work for prisoners who may be sentenced unjustly, helping them to seek reduced punishments, one of her biographies on Miss USA’s website reads.

Garris revealed in a recent interview that when she entered the pageant world, people would often try to dissuade her from rocking her natural curls.

(Photo credit: @kalieghgarris instagram)

“The night before, I finger curled every single piece of my hair in the shower, which led to a very long shower, but it was for the greater good,” the 18-year-old Connecticut native told Refinery29. “I know what I look like with straight hair, with extensions, and with my curly hair, and I feel more confident and comfortable with my natural hair.” At competition time, Garris walked on the stage proudly wearing her curls, and she walked away with…