South Africa Takes the Crown


Katie Wertheimer

ATLANTA, GEORGIA- Sunday, December 8, over 90 women from all around the world competed in the 2019 Miss Universe Pageant. This year, Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi, went out attempting to spread a positive message about beauty standards and how to encourage young women and ended up winning the title.

The contestants competed in  a series of portions including swimsuit, evening wear, a costume contest where each contestant was instructed to dress as a representation of their beloved country, and a series of questions to represent their knowledge of current events. After each young women showed their skills, the judges narrowed it down to the top 20, top 10, top 5, and the top 3. 

The top three consisted of Miss South Africa, the new queen, Miss Mexico, Sophia Agaron, and Miss Puerto Rico, Madison Anderson. After the finalists were selected, they were asked their final question.

This year, the final question was “what is the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today?” and Tunzi took this as an opportunity to express one of her many platforms by saying 

It’s very important to teach young girls today the importance of their true value. We see so many perfection in social media, perfect lives, perfect bodies, perfect faces, perfect relationships. Nothing is that real. We have to teach them that who they are is already amazing, who they are is already worth it, because what they really are is not what it looks like, it’s what they feel, what they act, and the way they react to the world. I believe a girl is worth what she has to offer to the world, way more than the way she looks. Thank you.”

After the final question, each finalist was given the opportunity to explain why they should be crowned the next Miss Universe, to which South Africa responded,

I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me — with my kind of skin and my kind of hair — was never considered to be beautiful,” she said in her last response. “I think it is time that that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

It was after the final statement, that host, Steve Harvey, returned for the fifth year running to announce the ultimate winner. First to be announced was second runner-up, given to Miss Mexico. 

After that announcement, as the suspense built, Tunzi was given the news and was crowned by last year’s winner, Catriona Gray, representing the Philippines. She expressed her time serving the title as “unforgettable, life-changing and purposeful”, and it can be imagined that this filled the new queen with even more excitement for the year to come. 



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