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.

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.

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.

Tunzi beat over 90 contestants from around the globe and grabbed the coveted title, shattering a lot of stereotypes.

More power to you!