"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," said Miss Universe 2019 winner Zozibini Tunzi.
“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,” said the newly-crowned Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.
“I think that it is time that that stops today.”
Zozibini Tunzi, a 26-year-old woman from South Africa, is the first black-skinned woman to win Miss Universe since Angolan Leila Lopes in 2011. She is probably the first Miss Universe winner to have natural short hair.
I was still shook that we have a black girl with natural short hair as Miss South Africa and she went and became Miss Universe!!! Against the status quo. A breath of fresh air. CHANGE!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/zqNgp4ykeY
— Kolisa Yola Sinyanya (@Kolie_Yola) December 9, 2019
a dark skin black woman with short natural hair won not only miss SA but miss universe. the importance of that is not lost on me at all https://t.co/s4VOLIbg2x
— foyin 🍯 (@foyinog) December 9, 2019
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Tonight a door was opened and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it. May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine. I proudly state my name Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2019!
For the final question Zozibini was asked what young girls should be taught today. Her answer was leadership.
“It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time – not because we don’t want to, but because of what society has labelled women to be,” Zozibini said.
“I think we are the most powerful beings in the world, and that we should be given every opportunity.
“And that is what we should be teaching these young girls – to take up space.”
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As Promised. South Africa the biggest pride was not only wearing your name across my heart but having a gown so perfectly designed by @biji_la_maison that represented my heritage on the biggest stage in the Universe. You gave me the strength and I felt and continue to feel the love from you…my beloved! Preliminaries ✅ Who’s ready for finals?🇿🇦👑🇿🇦 Ndiyabulela ngenkxaso yenu kwela qonga izolo. Ndiyayazi beninam 🇿🇦👑🇿🇦 #ProudlySouthAfrican #MissUniverse #MissSouthAfrica #xhosa
Her speech resonated with the likes of Oprah Winfrey.
Congratulations Miss South Africa, the new Miss Universe @zozitunzi! Agree with you…leadership is the most powerful thing we should be teaching young women today. We welcome your visit to #OWLAG, our Leadership Academy for Girls 🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦 https://t.co/YL0NeO40QU
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) December 9, 2019
Really inspiring answer from South Africa
I loved how she said girls should be taught to TAKE UP SPACE. This is important esp in societies where girls are taught to create space for men instead of themselves, to shrink in small spaces, & to fit in small sizes.
— Ash Presto 💜 (@sosyolohija) December 9, 2019
Beauty pageants have come under intense criticism and the bikini parade is no longer shown on television. The events have tried to change and several now focus on the contestants’ achievements and giving women a voice, BBC News reported.
Great Britain’s contestant Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers last year said that pageantry still has a place.
“One of the biggest problems that women have in the 21st century is having people listen to them,” she said.
“We have had to be very creative in making a space for ourselves.”
— Ayesha K. Faines✒️ (@ayeshakfaines) December 9, 2019