Pageant History

Beauty pageant titles are more diverse than ever


Paras Griffin

Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, of South Africa, is crowned onstage by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray (right, in blue) at the 2019 Miss Universe Pageant at Tyler Perry Studios on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019 in Atlanta, Ga. (Paras Griffin/Getty Images/TNS)

For the first time in beauty pageant history, Miss Universe, Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA are all simultaneously black women. Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe on Dec. 8, following behind Cheslie Kryst as Miss USA, Kaliegh Garris as Miss Teen USA and Nia Franklin as Miss America.

“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 beautiful,” Tunzi said. “I think it is time that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face. And I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

This is a monumental year for women of color as very few women of color have one any of these titles.

“It makes me really happy to see women of color getting recognized,” junior Eboni Thomas said. “I think black women, especially young girls, need to have these role models to show us that dark skin is beautiful and something to be proud of”