'Want Girls to See Their Reflection in Me': How Miss Universe 2019 is Smashing 'Beauty Standards'

News18.com

In some exultant news for South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi grabbed the Miss Universe 2019 title yesterday in Atlanta, Georgia, becoming third South African woman to do so.

This year's Miss Universe event, that brought 90 contestants together to compete for the esteemed title had Miss Tunzi earn the judges' admiration for her powerful speech to the final question, "What is the most important thing you should be teaching young girls today?".

"The most important thing we should teach young girls is leadership," Tunzi responded. "It's something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a long time, not because we don't want to but because of what society has labelled women to be. I think we are the most powerful being in the world and that we should be given every opportunity. That is what we should be teaching these young girls to take, to take up space. Nothing is more important than taking up space in the society and submitting yourself."

Besides, Tunzi also spoke about the bias towards women of colour that comes with the ubiquitous beauty standard set by the society. She expressed how the world in which women 'like her, with her kind of skin, and her kind of hair' grew up, never considered them beautiful. She urged children, who might be victims of the cliched beauty standards, to look at her face and see their reflections.

Tunzi, who has been an advocate for natural beauty and is a social campaigner set to change the narrative around gender stereotypes, got herself a lot of love and support of Twitter for winning the beauty pageant title and shattering a lot of bars.