On June 5th, 2016, Miss District of Columbia, Deshauna Barber, was crowned Miss USA, impressing the judges and winning their hearts with her beauty and brains. The new Miss USA claimed the crown for the District of Columbia for the first time in 14 years (and the third time in history!), and broke the stereotypes of women in the military and pageants. Barber’s win went viral among the black community, with multitudes of black women celebrating and rejoicing in all the #BlackGirlMagic that Barber’s win represents.
“I’m being able to say that no one pageant girl does the same thing or has the same background, and I’m also saying that no one soldier has the same background and does the same thing,” Barber said. “We can be feminine, we can be in beauty contests, we can be models. So there’s stereotypes on both sides that I feel like I’m breaking by even being here and being able to compete for Miss USA.”
Here are 3 reasons why Miss USA, Deshauna Barber, is the perfect example of #BlackGirlMagic:
1. She’s an Army reserve officer, specifically a logistics commander in the military for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit in Fort Meade, Md. With her beauty, she completely breaks the stereotype of women in the military being unattractive and masculine, and she fights for gender equality in the military. She’s also the first member of the military to win the Miss USA crown.
2. She’s super smart. Barber, who graduated from Virginia State University in 2011, now works as an IT Analyst at the US Department of Commerce. She also has a Masters Degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Maryland University College.
3. She’s representing for black women all over the world, especially dark skinned women. Historically the beauty industry has catered to women of lighter skin, ignoring or not recognizing those with darker skin. In the history of the Miss USA pageant, it’s rare to see contestants with darker skin, and even more rare for one to take home the crown. More importantly, all black women can look to up to her and see someone who looks just like them, which inspiring in a major way.
Congrats on your new title Deshauna!!