Why It Matters Miss USA, Miss Teen USA & Miss America Are All Black For First Time In History

Photo Credits: Leroy Amankrah / Patrick Prather / Getty

Just a week after we crushed on Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris‘ gorgeous crown of curls, Cheslie Kryst has won the Miss USA crown to make Black girl magic a three-peat (or triple crown) in 2019.

[SEE ALSO: 2019 Miss USA Winner Steals Show With Natural Tresses]

That’s right, for the first time in history, Black women are wearing all the crowns in the top three beauty pageants. (Nia Franklin took home the Miss America crown last September.)


This is major. Not because Black women were finally deemed beautiful enough to win a pageant or because darker-skinned Black women are also winning the crown.

Nia Franklin
Nia Franklin

This is major because Black women are standing up and being authentic, regardless of naysayers and doubters, and showcasing their excellence. Both Kaleigh and Cheslie ditched the flat iron as part of their beauty routine. Kaleigh even shared that she was told to not rock her natural hair.

Kaliegh Harris
Kaleigh Garris // Photo Credit: Leroy Amankrah

And all three are overachieving goddesses: Nia is an opera singer and arts advocate with a master’s degree in music composition. Cheslie is a civil litigation attorney with an MBA. And, Kaleigh, who is still in high school, is a competitive dancer and founded the nonprofit, We Are People 1st initiative, to educate youth and combat stigmas associated with disabilities.

Cheslie Kryst
Photo Credit: Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP

Daily, Black women (including our fave celebs) are attacked for being too melanated, too strong, too sexy, too masculine, too natural, too everything. Our hair is regulated in the workplace, our clothes are targeted when we pick up our children at school and our bodies are constantly questioned and denied equity in health treatment.

Yes, we get that it’s “just” a beauty pageant — but these women give us one more view to prove to ourselves — and inspire young girls around the world to believe — that we are enough.

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About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is a music, hair and communications junkie. she is a Black beauty editor; founder of Sadiaa, the premiere beauty directory for women of color, and editor for HypeHair.com.