Black women have always been beautiful
Miss Universe 2019 is a beautiful, dynamic, amazing woman from South Africa named Zozibini Tunzi, and everyone loves her.
This dark-skinned, short-haired beauty was a vision as she stood up on the Miss Universe stage and declared, “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. And I think that it’s time that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their face reflected in mine.”
Anyone tuned in to the competition, hosted by Steve Harvey, would have been simply mesmerised by this African woman. Of course, her victory has re-energised the conversation about beauty and beauty standards.
Social media is full of messages celebrating her win and commenting on “natural beauty”. Of course, we have been bombarded with images of Eurocentric beauty in entertainment from day one, and this standard has always been how beauty is defined. In the age of weaves, wigs, skin bleaching, and colourism, it can be very difficult for someone with dark skin and wool-textured hair to feel beautiful. So I endorse and celebrate this victory of the new Miss Universe, and I also believe that she will empower many little girls who look like her to be more confident.
I push back on the idea that because of her win, black women can now be beautiful. What? The beauty of black women was always undeniable. Black women have been the standard, with our thick lips, piercing eyes, radiant smiles, and curvaceous bodies. It’s the rules of society that we have adopted that make it seem like black women are not beautiful.
Think about it: the features that black women have are celebrated when present on women of other races. For example, people marvel at Angelina Jolie’s thick lips and the Kardashians’ curvy figures.
Let me be clear: black women are beautiful. End of story. The fact that a dark-skinned African woman won Miss Universe does not validate that fact. It shows that the judges at the contest are finally catching up to this fact. So congratulations to the new Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi. I am very excited to see what you do in the next 12 months.