The focus seems to be on New York and not just because of New York Fashion Week. The Miss America Pageant has just crowned a new winner and yes, she is a black queen! The pageant that took place on 9th September saw Miss New York , Nia Franklin, taking the much coveted crown edging out her fellow 50 competitors. “I am feeling really blessed right now,” Nia Imani Franklin said after her win. “It took a lot of perseverance to get here, and I just want to thank my beautiful family.”
This year, the competition made history when it eliminated the swimsuit part of the competition among other changes.
A move I personally feel was way overdue. According to a press release in June, the organization stated that: “Starting this year, candidates will no longer be judged on outward physical appearance, we are no longer a pageant. The choice of wardrobe is open so that everyone can express their own individual style.”
In place of the now buried swimsuit segment, the competition featured two Q&A rounds. This allowed the contestants to speak on important issues to them and the United States of America. This move has and will help to destroy the stereotype of “beauty without brains”. It will also help to redefine beauty, as it is encouraging women to look at beauty from an intellectual point of view rather than what lies on the surface.
The Miss America Website reads “Candidates will now have more opportunities to advocate for their social initiatives. To demonstrate how they are uniquely qualified for the exciting, challenging 365-day job of Miss America.”
Nia Franklin’s initiative is on self-esteem and promoting positive body image which she highlighted by sharing her story.
“I went to a predominantly Caucasian school where there was only a 5% minority. I felt out of place so much because of the color of my skin. However, I found my love for the Arts, especially through music. This this is what helped me feel positive about myself and who I was.” said Nia Franklin. The 25 year old beauty is a classically-trained vocalist, with a Master’s Degree in Music Composition from University of North Carolina. For the talent portion, Franklin showcased her singing abilities by performing part of an Opera which was considered the highlight of the show. It blew everyone away.
Nia Franklin is a triple threat…beauty, brains and talent.
She takes the crown from Cara Mund who ended her run after gracefully crowning Nia. Congratulations are in order for Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin! Not forgetting the Miss America Organization, for helping to play a part in changing the standards of beauty with the new changes to the competition.