Cheslie Kryst contributed to pageant history when she was crowned Miss USA on Thursday: For the first time, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America are all black women.
Miss Teen USA 2019, Kaliegh Garris, was crowned Sunday. The high school senior from Connecticut plans to attend college and pursue a degree in nursing. Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin, who won her competition in September, hailed from New York.
Both Kryst and Garris were applauded 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.”
“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.”
Miss Teen USA 2019 AND Miss USA 2019 are both Natural Queens! Black women for the win yet again. Breaking boundaries and redefining the beauty standard! My heart is full! 😭💕😭💕 pic.twitter.com/vCYDTzphJ0— Abuela 🦋 (@Juylianafowlkes) May 3, 2019