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An Important Milestone for Conventional Beauty: Miss Universe 2019

“May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine.” – Zozibini Tunzi

The Miss Universe pageant has a newly crowned victor; Zozibini Tunzi, who represented South Africa at the event. She stands, elegant, with the crown on her head, and speaks of the importance of this victory for young girls all around the globe.

“Tonight a door was opened and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it,” – Zozibini Tunzi

This victory marks a large milestone in the world of glitz and glamour – for the first time, four major pageant winners of this year are black women. To give a short introduction, we have Nia Franklin, recently crowned Miss America: Cheslie Kryst, dubbed Miss USA: Kaliegh Garris, this year’s Miss Teen USA.

Kaliegh Garris wore her natural hair during the Miss Teen USA finals, inspiring many of her young fans. This is a particularly notable decision because of America’s seemingly ongoing battle against natural black hair, with only two states making steps to prohibit discrimination against natural hair in the workplace.

Tunzi speaks on the importance of embracing her own beauty, as someone who has not seen herself in popular media while growing up.

“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,” – Zozibini Tunzi

Tunzi expresses that the standard of beauty has always been geared towards white features, giving particular meaning to her recent victory. She stands not only to receive a prestigious award, but to subvert the harmful narrative that black isn’t beautiful as well. These victories by four accomplished women seemingly shout out that yes, black is beautiful, and it always has been – it’s high time the world wakes up and recognizes it!

Michelle Obama retweeted news about the record-breaking wins with the simple caption: #blackgirlmagic.