Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Three Black Women Make Pageant History by Dominating Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, Miss America

*For the first time, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America are all melanated women and folks across social media are loving every ounce of this Black Girl Magic.

Last week, the three beauties rocked the crowns of all three major pageants simultaneously, New York Times reports.

Cheslie Kryst, 28, won the Miss USA contest, and as we previously reported, Kaliegh Garris, 18, won Miss Teen USA, and Nia Franklin, 25, was crowned as the 2019 Miss America in September.

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Kryst is an attorney and North Carolina-native who practices civil litigation and does pro bono work to help get reduced sentences for inmates, the Post report states

Garris is a high school senior from Connecticut with plans to attend college and pursue a degree in nursing. Both Kryst and Garris were praised for wearing their natural hair during their pageants.

“There were a few naysayers saying, ‘You look better with straight hair,’ or ‘You should put in extensions and straighten your natural hair,’” Garris told Refinery 29, later adding, “I feel more confident and comfortable with my natural hair.”

Vanessa Williams became the first Black woman to win Miss America in 1984. Carole Gist took home the Miss USA crown in 1990, and Janel Bishop won Miss Teen USA in 1991.

Each competition has had multiple Black winners since.

During Thursday’s final Miss USA event, Kryst was asked whether the Me Too and Time’s Up movements had “gone too far” in addressing sexual harassment and assault.

“I don’t think these movements have gone too far,” she said. “What Me Too and Time’s Up 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,” she added. “That’s exactly what I want for this country.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) celebrated the historic wins of the Black beauties in a Instagram post over the weekend.

“For the first time in history, Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA are all Black women,” she wrote. “What a tremendous moment for these young, successful women making their own path, on their own terms.”

“Truly amazing to see. Nia, Cheslie, and Kaliegh: you are trailblazers, creating your own path on your own terms. Congratulations!” she added.

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Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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