Beating the white-washed standards of beauty, and establishing the fact that black is beautiful and African women are beauties in their own skin; Black girl magic steals the show and grabs the crown in the just concluded miss grand international. Ghanaian Abena Akuaba has emerged as the first ever black woman to clinch the title of Miss Grand USA International.
The 27 year old has previously represented Ghana in Miss Universe 2014 and Miss Earth 2019, including winning the crown of Queen Beauty Universe 2016.
— Ama ❤️ (@Loveniadag) March 25, 2021
The pageant, hosted in Thailand on March 27, 2021, featured 63 contestants from multiple countries, where Abena Akuaba emerged as winner.
— Abena Akuaba (@AbenaAkuaba) March 25, 2021
Not only is she the first Black woman to win the international pageant. She is also the first African-American woman to participate while representing the United States of America, the Philippine Star reported.
During the costume portion of the pageant, she paid homage to victims of police brutality and the faces of Tamir Rice, Philando Castile and George Floyd were featured on her dress.
After successfully winning the crown, Abena stressed the importance of representation and affirmation especially for Black girls struggling to embrace their natural beauty. She also encouraged everyone to continue to “say the names” of victims of racial inequalities and injustices.
“I accomplished the unthinkable for all the girls that look like me; I want you to know your hair is beautiful, your skin is flawless, and that you should wear all of it with pride and grace. We are enough; we are beautiful, we do not have to fit any beauty standards because we set our own. The first BLACK MGI Queen, the first to bring the golden crown home to the USA, and finally, a dream as a young three-year-old is now a reality.
Lastly, I want us to continuously remember the lost lives due to inequalities, injustices, and hate. May we lead with love, peace, and support. Continue to Say Their Names always, and may their lives live through us with purpose.