Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst’s challenging yet inspiring reign

04 Nov 2020 | Angelique Reyes

Cheslie Kryst of North Carolina was crowned Miss USA 2019 on 2nd May 2019 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. She later represented the USA at Miss Universe 2019 stage where she was placed at top 10 at the end of the event finale. Cheslie was one of the beauty queens who’ve had a remarkable reign as Miss USA 2019 as the queen had to carry out her advocacies virtually due to the pandemic scare in the world which made traveling for her impossible. With her win, 2019 became the first year that all four major United States-based pageants were won by black women. The diva now 29-years-old and standing 168 cm tall is all set to crown her successor on 9th November 2020, but before that let’s look at her challenging yet beautiful reign as Miss USA 2019.

Cheslie described herself as a ‘weird kid’ with a ‘unibrow’ who went onto be a part of generation that belongs to empowered and successful women. She had graduated from Fort Mill High School and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of South Carolina, a law degree from Wake Forest University and has worked in civil litigation at uptown law firm. She also worked pro bono for clients who were low-level drug offenders, including her work with Brittany K. Barnett of the Buried Alive Project, supported by Kim Kardashian West, to free a client sentenced to life imprisonment. She is the founder of the fashion blog White Collar Glam, dedicated to helping women dress professionally in white-collar jobs. The idea for the site was born from her own struggles to find the right clothes to wear as a law student. She offers tips through personal product recommendations. She is also a volunteer for the Dress for Success organization and she sits on the Board of Directors at Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Carolinas.



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The diva was always interested in pageantry and started working as a model when she was a teenager and her mother was Mrs. North Carolina US in 2002 which had inspired her a lot. She explained, “I remember seeing people paying attention to every word my mom said and realized there’s some power behind pageants.” She finally won the title of Miss North Carolina 2019 in her second attempt which earned her a chance to represent North Carolina at Miss USA 2019 and to her starts she was crowned Miss USA 2019.

Cheslie was 28-years and 4 days old when she was crowned which also marked as one of the historic moments as she became the oldest person to be crowned Miss USA, breaking the previous record held by Nana Meriwether, who was 27 years, 6 months, and 26 days old upon assuming the title. The diva took a year off from her law career to fulfill her crown duties and shared an apartment with Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi in New York. The pageant queen is a former Division I athlete. She competed in the heptathlon, long jump and triple jump on South Carolina's track and field team. Cheslie wakes up before 5 a.m. every day to work out, she takes a spin class two times a week and does yoga two times a week.

During her question and answer round at Miss USA 2019 competition, she was asked to use one word to summarize her generation and she stated, “innovative”. The diva mentioned, “I'm standing here in Nevada, in the state that has the first female majority legislature in the entire country. Mine is the first generation to have that forward-looking mindset that has inclusivity, diversity, strength, and empowered women. I'm looking forward to continued progress in my generation."



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She was asked, “For the past two years, #MeToo and #TimesUp have dominated our national conversation. However, some believe it has only deepened the divide between men and women. Have these movements gone too far?” to which she answered, “I don’t think these movements have gone too far. 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.” The answer impressed not only the judges and the audience and thus, was crowned Miss USA 2019.

Cheslie who is all set to crown her successor had mentioned, "I can't say pageants make you beautiful. I think they make your more confident in the person that you are. I'm still that same weird kid. I still like reading books. And at the end of the day, I like to sit by myself in my house and just watch movies. But I think pageants taught me all that, and my mom was really the one who introduced me to that and drew me to pageantry."

The diva has had a tough reign as she had to carry out her advocacies and work virtually due to the pandemic but she was happy to carry out her duties if she was able to make a change in the society. The diva raises her voice and stated her opinions on whatever she felt was necessary including Black Lives Matter and she is equally excited to get back to her law firm where she can use her voice to keep advocating about diversity in the legal industry and continue to make a change.

Cheslie is courageous, strong, determined, and focused towards making a change in the society and is very excited to pass her crown to someone who will represent the USA with full determination and hope to make a much-needed change in the society. We are grateful for a queen who has spoken up about things that needed attention and carried out her challenging reign beautifully and never let anyone pull her down. She is hard working and keeps her focus on her goal.