For years now, we have been stereotyping beauty as per certain standards set by society. Some of these standards were shattered when Zozibini Tunzi from South Africa won the Miss Universe 2019 title, yesterday, 8th December.
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Tonight a door was opened and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it. May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine. I proudly state my name Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2019!
Her answer to the final question, ‘What is the most important thing you should be teaching young girls today?’ earned her admiration from judges and audience.
Responding to the question, she said:
The most important thing we should teach young girls is leadership. 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.
Congratulations Miss South Africa, the new Miss Universe @zozitunzi! Agree with you…leadership is the most powerful thing we should be teaching young women today. We welcome your visit to #OWLAG, our Leadership Academy for Girls 🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦 https://t.co/YL0NeO40QU— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) December 9, 2019
She further added:
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 cementing yourself.
It doesn’t happen very often that a woman of colour ends up winning the beauty title.
Tunzi rightly used this opportunity to talk about the world where women who break stereotypes and stand out instead of conforming aren’t considered beautiful. She said:
I grew up in a world where women who look like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair were never considered to be beautiful. And I think that it is time that stops today.
She also urged young girls who have been the victims of these beauty standards to see their reflections in her.
I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.
Her powerful speech not only won her the beauty pageant, but also the hearts of millions of people around the globe.
Damn. That is leadership..right there!— Jack Hutton (@jackhutton) December 9, 2019
It’s a FULL CIRCLE of GRACE that she was crowned at @TPstudios too!!! Cheers to taking up space & cementing yourself!!! SOOOO VERY PROUD!! Queen of the UNIVERSE!!! #MissUniverse2019 #MissSouthAfrica 🙏🏾♥️🥰👑💫— Charity Washington (@MsCharity429) December 9, 2019
I was so moved by @zozitunzi your words. You inspire so many girls. Thank You for setting the standard and using your platform to encourage women and children in our country. We love you❤️#MissUniverse2019 #MissUniverse #ZozibiniTunzi pic.twitter.com/62UtzvE2vx— Sista Bettina!💃 (@MeganShinese) December 9, 2019
Tunzi beat over 90 contestants from around the globe and grabbed the coveted title, shattering a lot of stereotypes.
More power to you!