Issa another win for the naturalistas! On Sunday night, Kaliegh Garris, was crowned Miss Teen USA . Her tiara was placed on top of naturally, thick curls. Garris is the first Miss Teen USA to wear her natural, textured hair since 1999 winner, Ashley Coleman.
The 18-year-old Connecticut teen told Refinery 29 that she was advised to straighten her hair or get extensions. Instead Garris went against her naysayers and sent the night before the pageant finger curling every piece of her hair in the shower.
“I know what I look like with straight hair, with extensions, and with my curly hair, and I feel more confident and comfortable with my natural hair.”
Rocking her natural fro has proven to be a good luck charm for the melanin beauty queen and competed in several stages of the regional and national Miss USA pageants with it.
Garris previously won Miss Connecticut Teen USA in January and attends
*two* high schools: the Joseph A. Foran High School in Milford, Connecticut, and the Educational Center for the Arts, where she specializes in theater, according to the Miss Universe Organization website. She is also a competitive dancer and the founder of We Are People 1st initiative, which honors her older sister Chauntel, who has multiple disabilities.
On her spare time, Garris volunteers at Yale New Haven Hospital. She is expected to enroll in Southern Connecticut State University’s nursing program and become a trauma nurse.
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.