For the first time in history, all 5 top beauty pageants are dominated by women of color. I think that in a time where society has questioned the beauty of melanin skin. We, women of color needed this. 2019 will always be remembered as the year in which women of color dominated top 5 beauty pageants.

Below is part of the conversation between a journalist on CNN and the ladies.

Interviewer

When you think of this moment, what does it mean to yo? what does it mean to women of color, young girls and boys who are watching.

Nia Franklin ( Miss America)

Well, I think black women need this. It’s a symbol that shows that no matter where you are from, what country you’re from, whether you live in America, you can be part of something great. It was just back in 1940, that black women were allowed to compete in the Miss America organization. And it took 30 years in 1970 when Cheryl Browne became the first black to step foot on the Miss America stage. So it’s huge and I’m so glad that people are recognizing this moment. “

Interviewer

It’s huge but you’ve been getting into that moment and I know that you’ve dealt with some of this. There has been pushbacks like something as simple as your hair right? And you got a lot of pushback in that about what you should look like if you are going to be a part of this pageant. This sends a very clear message about what you should look like, you should look like yourself

Cheslie Kryst ( Miss USA )

Exactly, exactly and that you don’t have to fit a certain mould in order to be successful in pageantry and other arenas. And so it’s exciting for me to just be a part of this. Exciting for me to know that I can be an example for other people. ┬áBecause there are certain examples I was able to follow that inspired me. Like when Ursula Burns was the CEO of Xerox, when Barack Obama was made president of the United States. I think seeing this figures was essential to me and as a woman of color I’m happy I could share this moment with my sisters.

Interviewer

And from an international perspective what does it do for you ?

Zozibini Tunzi ( Miss Universe)

Like she said, when she saw those people do those things , she fell like she could do it too. I mean we can’t be what we cannot see. So I think that’s why this is so important because young girls can look at us and feel like they too are important…

One thing I’ve learnt from this is that nothing can limit me especially my skin tone or even just how I style my hair. Be it braids, low cut or Afro, I remain African and beautiful.

What about you? What’s one thing you’ve learnt from this ?