Who else is with me in making that the official phrase for 2019? From business and entrepreneurship, to film and sports, Black women have been killing it in all industries this year.
And as of Monday night, we made history in the pageant arena as Zozibini Tunzi, Miss South Africa, was crowned Miss Universe 2019. For the first time ever, Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and the newly crowned Miss Universe are ALL Black women.
“I grew up in a world where women who look like me – with my kind skin and my kind of hair – was never considered to be beautiful,” said Tunzi during the competition. “And I think that it is time that it stops today.”
It’s important that young women – especially women of color – see themselves when they turn on the television, open a magazine, and even enter a classroom. And while we are starting to make strides in being better represented in media, business, and education, we all know that we still have a long way to go.
This generation is more empowered than ever. We’ve stopped taking “no” for an answer and have began to not only break barriers within current trends and industries, but we’re also creating our own lanes to properly tell our stories instead of leaving it in the hands of someone else to narrate. We are no longer diminishing ourselves and trying to fit into a society where, quite frankly, we were never made to fit in.
Representation matters because it encourages generations – past, present, and future – to know that there isn’t anything that they can’t do. It encourages young boys and girls to know that they truly can do anything that they put their minds to.
Seeing Tunzi rock her natural fro throughout the competition and win the crown at the end the night is another moment in history that Black girls can carry with them this year and beyond. As they enter this new decade, they can say that the new Miss Universe, “looks like me.”