Sunday night, the 65th Annual Miss USA Pageant aired and Deshauna Barber, a black woman, who works as both an IT analyst and proudly serves in the Army Reserves, was crowned winner.
While most congratulated Barber on her accomplishment, some that claimed the pageant was rigged in her favor or that she wasn’t “attractive enough” to win the title. However, the most scathing comments came from those who said Barber did not “look American.”
The narrative of assuming one’s appearance must meet a certain standard in order to be considered a member of a particular nationality isn’t limited to the U.S. Last year, Miss Japan, Ariana Miyamoto was ridiculed for not “looking Japanese”.
However, unlike Japan, America traditionally prides itself on being a melting pot of cultures. So, unless you are Native American, you cannot claim to have a traditional American aesthetic. Also, let’s not forget Barber not only serves in the Army but is the first member of the military to win Miss USA. Sounds pretty dang American. Furthermore, Barber is the 9th Black Woman to win the Miss USA pageant, the first being Carole Gist in 1990.
With all that being said, we have to wonder why the 9th black woman to win the Miss USA title is met with such vitriol. There have literally been 8 black women who held the title previously of all shades. The only people who are unAmerican are the folks who refuse to acknowledge the diversity of the country’s citizens.
Congratulations Deshauna Barber! We’re proud of you!