Inspirational lessons from the Top 5 black beauty queens of 2019

17 Jan 2020 | Abigail Henry

Inspirational lessons from the Top 5 black beauty queens of 2019


The year 2019 has ended with a lot of cheers, and the echoes of it are still in our ears. It wasn’t just a year of joy and happiness for the queens who won the beauty pageants, but also a remarkable year for the special ones who won the prestigious pageants all at once. It was a year which will always be reminisced by not only the people who fascinates with them but by the whole world, who didn’t just see the mark of those conquering queens but also their fearlessness, their level of confidence and their amazing talents, which once was suppressed.

Beauty pageants early in their histories, some dating back to the 1920s, barred women of color from participating. Even after organizations began changing their rules to accept women of all races, there was still a lingering frustration and opposition to join. Black women weren't allowed to compete in the Miss America pageant until the 1940s, and the first black contestant didn't take that stage until 30 years later. The first black Miss USA wasn't crowned until 1990. And only this month, Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA are all women of color. For the very first time! Let's toast to melanin really quickly. These queens are none other than our Zozibini Tunzi from South Africa who bagged the title of Miss Universe 2019, Toni Ann Singh from Jamaica who was crowned Miss World 2019, Cheslie Kryst Miss USA 2019, Kaliegh Garris Miss Teen USA 2019, and last but not the least Nia Franklin who nailed the title of Miss America 2019.

These conquering queens came out well with their incredibility and their exquisiteness by giving their best, and not just that but also by their charismatic personalities which outshined the other contenders and gave them this amazing fortuity to be the ever-reigning queens of the top beauty pageants. It wasn’t only their kismet which wanted them to be here today but as it is said, “that the one who wants something, makes their own kismets”, these queens worked hard for the title. They held it close to their heart and knew what it meant for them and how its going to be a process for them to reach it.

We are so proud to present the 5 influential lessons from the queens of the top 5 beauty pageants:

Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi - Pick A Struggle, And Run With It

Zozi is passionate about ending gender-based violence, and she won't keep quiet about it. In a recent Instagram post, she called on her fellow South Africans to write love letters pledging support for women in her country. She stressed out on the issue and wrote, "It is my hope that these pledges will start, and continue a conversation around gender-based violence. We have to start the narration where right-thinking people act as role models for those who think it's okay to mistreat women. The sad truth is our world needs healing in several areas; whether it is gender-based violence, or rape, or child abuse, or even drug abuse. And it is up to us to heal our world.”  Zozi has picked a struggle to fight for. The world needs more young women (and men) to fight for it. It is indeed a hard reality that even after passing on from generation to generation, there is still this mindset of people that has stuck them to this idea of not believing in equality and rather than solving it, they have auspiciously flourished in the violence based on the gender. With Zozi’s strong ideas of exposure to this issue, the world definitely needs to know more about it and to act upon it.


Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi


Miss World 2019 Toni-Ann Singh - Find Your Tribe, And Help Them Be Great

Tori-Ann pledged to use her platform to advocate for women. She believes that women are great, and they should know just how great they are. So that together, they change the world, because they can. "I will continue to be an advocate for women. I believe women are the lifeblood of our community. So, I will continue to inspire and work with them, so they understand just how great their potential is.” Toni said. Young girls must know what potentials they have to effect change. They should be taught how to light up their corner of the world, and ultimately make it better than it was. It indeed is a great lesson to learn from the queen and how she encourages young girls and women to be able to stand up for the right and for their dreams to come true. She truly is a queen.


Miss World 2019 Toni Ann Singh


Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst - Help The Helpless, And Challenge Injustice

Cheslie Kryst is 28 years of age, and receiving three degrees from two universities, the attorney is now on a mission to help reform America's justice system. Cheslie helps unjustly sentenced prisoners get a reduced sentence. In a video recently, Kryst told a story about how a judge at a legal competition suggested she wear a skirt instead of pants because judges prefer skirts. The queen said indignantly, "Glass ceilings can be broken wearing either a skirt or pants. Don't tell females to wear different clothes while you give the men substantive feedback on their legal arguments." Women have a lot to deal with in the world today. That's why young girls should be courageous and bold; to stand up for themselves and challenge the status quo. This is certainly a great message to spread which can surely help a lot of girls and women out there.


Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst


Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin - Discover Who You Are And Help Others Do Same

Nia Franklin works with the nonprofit group Sing for Hope, which helps people including children through the power of music. An opera singer, Franklin discovered her identity through music, she explained during the Miss America competition in September. Now she helps children the same way. The 23-year-old North Carolina native expressed her feelings by saying, "I grew up at a predominately Caucasian school, and there was only 5% minority, and I felt out of place so much because of the color of my skin. But growing up, I found my love of arts, and through music that helped me to feel positive about myself and about who I was." Let's teach girls that it is a much bigger blessing to give help than to receive it. There are many lost souls as we encounter on our journey, we must help them find their way. This is not just it, which we get from her message, there is one more important point that needs deliberation, which is that we need to just see our outer beauty which can certainly wither away, but these values and the heart which I takes to do things in life will always take them higher.


Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin


Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaliegh Garris - Be Confident

When Garris took the Miss Teen USA, she did it with confidence wearing her naturally curly hair. The diva is just 18 years of age and her smartness and her morale took her to this place where she was honored with great pride as Miss Teen USA of year 2019.  She also expressed later and told Refinery29 by saying, "I know what I look like with straight hair, with extensions, and with my curly hair, and I feel more confident and comfortable with my natural hair”. When she began competing in pageants, Garris said she had to fight against beauty standards suggesting that straight hair was better than her natural curls. There were people who told her how they thought she should style her hair but she ignored their criticism and went on to win the title of Miss Connecticut Teen USA with her natural hair and then the result we already know which was so inspiring to see and amazing to witness. So, now we are intended to inspire our daughters by telling them this story.


Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaliegh Garris


It has been so inspiring to see all these women standing for a greater cause and that is when we set our goals higher than ourselves, we eventually reach at a higher place. It indeed is a great message to inspire, and to reveal the truth about beauty pageants, which is certainly not only about glorifying physical beauty but also about good character, selflessness, love for humanity, compassion and hard work. Tunzi thinks it's important for young girls to look at the history-making quintet to see that anything is possible. She says, "We can't be what we cannot see. I think that's why this is so important because then young girls can look at us and feel like they, too, are important." And she's right. When our young girls see the melting of impossibilities and the making of history; it settles in their minds for eternity. This is a final toast, to all the young black women who will be breaking more glass ceilings in the days to come.