"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.

Finalists in the competition which featured more than 90 women from across the world were asked a series of questions on topics such as climate change, protest and social media.

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.”

Her speech resonated with the likes of Oprah Winfrey.

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.”