Black women are dominating all facets of the beauty industry and especially pageantry. Late last year, Nia Franklin won the Miss America competition, and her victory has seemingly caused a ripple effect. Earlier this week, we saw Kaleigh Garris‘ Miss Teen USA coronation and last night, another black woman claimed a seat on the thrown. 28-year old Cheslie Kryst took the Miss USA 2019 crown, and we couldn’t be happier. As a woman of color, it’s always affirming to see black women occupy transformative roles traditionally given to white women. This trifecta of black beauty queens is proof that we belong and we show up and show out.

For a brief introduction to our newest beauty queen, check out these fun facts about the North Carolina native.

She Won Her First Pageant In The Ninth Grade

Perhaps it was beginners’ luck, but Miss USA entered her first pageant at Rock Hill Northwestern High school where she won Miss Freshman.

She Ran Track 

The 28-year old beauty queen is no stranger to competition. She’s also a former Division 1 athlete and holds the University of South Carolina’s top-10 spot for the triple jump.

She Attended Law School 

Kryst earned her law degree from Wake Forest University and was sworn into the North Carolina Bar in 2017. In 2018, she earned her license to practice law in South Carolina and is now a full-time litigation attorney.

She Launched A Fashion Blog

From the courtroom to her closet, the pageant runner has always been a problem solver. Frustrated by the affordability and appropriateness of professional work attire, she started a fashion blog to provide tips and pointers for women who struggle with office wear.

She Didn’t Quit

She went after the Miss North Carolina and Miss North Carolina USA crown four times, and didn’t take it home until 2018. Let that be a lesson on never giving up.

We’re excited to learn more about the black beauty queen as the year unfolds. Congratulations Cheslie!

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