Aside from her controversial views on health care, the former Miss District of Columbia and newly-crowned Miss USA, Kara McCullough, has been getting an outpouring of love and admiration for her full head of natural hair.
As much as viewers were obsessed with McCullough’s statement-making coiffure, they were equally enthusiastic for 2016’s Miss USA, Deshauna Barber, a captain in the United States Army Reserve, who also flawlessly showed off her natural curls at Sunday night’s competition in honor of her late mother. Barber happens to have previously held the Miss District of Columbia title.
Back-to-back victories of two black women pridefully showing off their natural textures caused an eruption of joy for the #blackgirlmagic moment happening at a competition where this specific hair look is unfortunately often overlooked.
People were truly excited to see McCullough show off her natural curls, and there was a powerful reason she chose to do so. “I decided to embrace what makes me feel comfortable and what makes me feel the best and brightest onstage, but also embrace what other people can relate to,” she told Refinery 29. “That typical, traditional sleek hair with a big tease, not to say it’s gone out the window, but it’s transitioning a lot.”
The 25-year-old also shared that she hadn’t always worn her hair naturally curly in previous pageants and that it was a “new thing” for her. “When I chose to wear my hair curly I was afraid,” she shared. “I didn’t know how people were going to accept it … if anyone was going to be receptive to it at all. But I felt like a Grecian goddess onstage.”
Judging from the ongoing comments on Twitter, fans of McCullough were highly receptive.
In case you missed this motivational moment, the high praises and inspiration went a little something like this:
— Kion✨ (@_kionyvonne_) May 15, 2017
YAS YAS YAS MISS DC!! I wanted her just because her hair is amazing ???????????? #MissUSA
— Not Average PostGrad (@NA_PostGrad) May 15, 2017
A natural hair black woman just crowned another natural hair black woman as #MissUSA. I'm over here in tears. ????????
— Dominique Ashley (@domashley26) May 15, 2017
Deshauna Barber does her final walk in her natural hair as a tribute to her mother, who died this year. So touching. #MissUSA
— Amanda Coyne (@AmandaCCoyne) May 15, 2017
— Chelsey ✨ (@_chelyonce) May 15, 2017
— B. Scott (@lovebscott) May 15, 2017
And of course, there were a few who were still a bit conflicted and couldn’t get past her controversial answers during the competition:
Yay, she black .. yay, she got natural hair … aww, she's not smart….healthcare is a privilege wtf… #MissUSA
— Carlotta (@daunspoken01) May 15, 2017
— SMACKABLE (@Prettyy_THICK) May 15, 2017
All things considered, Miss USA’s natural hair made a statement — with great intention, indeed. Her answers during the competition about health care being a privilege and not a right — well, that’s another story.
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Beauty Queen Exposes Surgery Scars to Bring Visibility to Her Disease
- Miss America and Miss USA: What’s the Diff?
- Army Officer Wins Miss USA Pageant