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Miss Universe First to Win with Natural Hair

For centuries, black women have fought to claim space in the beauty industry. The idea that we're finally in an era where every skin shade and hair type is being acknowledged as beautiful not only among ourselves, but in mainstream media is kind of a big deal. Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi taking the Miss Universe crown on Sunday night made a lot of black women feel like we're nearing the end of the beauty battle.

Zozibini is the first black woman to win Miss Universe since 2011. She's also the first one to win with natural hair. Zozibini told Insider that whether or not she would wear her natural hair was a critical conversation.

"It was so strange because even a lot of people I knew, people that were my friends, were like, 'Sis, we love you, but we're just saying, maybe you should put on a wig or buy a weave,'" she said.

Ultimately, Zozibini decided to be true to herself and reject the typical long, straight hair usually seen on pageant stages.

"I was like, 'No, you know what, I'm going to do it the way I am, because I've been with my natural hair for the past three years,"' she said. "I don't see why I should change it just because I'm stepping into another platform."

Zozibini added that she hopes her win helps women accept themselves for who they are and inspires them to be their authentic selves.


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