Miss South Africa is Crowned Miss Universe 2019

Miss South Africa is Crowned Miss Universe 2019

Marking a historical moment in the Miss Universe history

Marking a historical moment in the Miss Universe history

Text: Vienna Vernose

Last night at the annually held Miss Universe pageant in Atlanta, South African contestant Zozibini Tunzi took the crown for Miss Universe 2019 in a momentous moment for the competition’s history. Taking the first runner-up title was Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson, followed by Miss Mexico Sofia AragΓ³n who earned second runner-up.

This marks the first time in history that Miss Universe, Miss America, and Miss Teen USA are all black women. “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 to be beautiful,” Tunzi said. “And I think that’s 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.”

Though Tunzi’s involvement spans far beyond her eloquent answers to pageant questions. The East Cape native is a public relations specialist and model who before pageantry, had been aggressively campaigning against gender-based violence. As part of her campaign for the competition, Tunzi partnered with HeForShe, a United Nation-run organization that urges men to become allies in the fight for gender equality.

While this moment stands as a victory, Miss Universe has previously received criticism due to outdated practices that don’t fit into the push towards a culturally inclusive society. Many even question as to whether the competition itself has a place in today’s society, but the pageant has taken modern times into consideration positioning the focus on the contestants achievements. This year, the judging panel was composed on seven women in an effort to make appropriate changes.

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