Miss USA 2016 is sun-kissed natural beauty and Miss USA 2017 is brains, bold and fierce!
Sunday night’s Miss USA 2017 pageant was #blackgirlmagic for two special reasons.
First, another queen takes the title.
Newly crowned Kara McCullough was born in Naples, Italy and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The 25-year-old works as a government chemist for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory , which makes her passionate about STEM field. McCullough says she’s looking forward to experiencing “worldwide culture” and wants to inspire kids to pursue careers in science, technology, mathematics and engineering fields.
But what’s a Royal Woman without a little controversy?
Her comments during the Q&A portion of the contest about affordable healthcare being a privilege and not a right, gave more than a few people a side-eye.
“As a government employee, I am granted health-care,” says McCullough during the competition. “And I see firsthand that for one to have health-care, you need to have jobs. So therefore, we need to continue to cultivate this environment that we’re given the opportunities to have health-care as well as jobs to all the American citizens worldwide.”
But her take on feminism is interesting. She tells the audience as a woman scientist in the government, she’d like to transpose the word feminism to equalism.
“I don’t really want to consider myself — try not to consider myself like this die-hard, you know, like, ‘Oh, I don’t really care about men.’ But one thing I’m gonna say, though, is women, we are just as equal as men when it comes to opportunity in the workplace.”
McCullough advances to the Miss Universe contest next January in New York City.
The second reason, the woman who passes McCullough her crown nearly steals the show with her melanin!
Miss USA 2016 dazzled the crowd by taking her final walk with her natural hair We’re talking no flat iron, no weave and no glue-ins. And it was gorgeous! To complete the look, she chooses a sunlight-yellow floral gown which popped against her milk-chocolate skin. Barber’s look honored her mother who passed away from lung cancer shortly after she won the Miss USA title last year. She says she used to tell reporters she was so emotional over her winning because she worked so hard to get on that stage. But the truth was, she was thinking about her mother who was fighting the cancer at the time of the competition.
Barber was the first-ever military member to win Miss USA. She and McCullough both represent the District of Colombia. This makes the second year in a row that a Miss USA title goes to a African-American woman from our nation’s capital. Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg and Miss Minnesota Meridith Gould were the runner-ups. McCullough is the 66th Miss USA.
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.