Last night’s Miss USA pageant has everyone talking, and here’s why. The winner, Miss District of Columbia, Deshauna Barber, is a 26-year-old Army reserve sergeant and IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce who took the audience by storm with her responses to the judge’s on-the-spot questions.
The contestant’s “Top 5” question came from judge Joe Zee. When asked about the Pentagon’s decision to open up all combat roles to women, Barber didn’t hesitate for a second.
Her response: “As a woman in the United States Army, I think it was an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate into every branch of the military. We are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit, I am powerful, I am dedicated, and it’s important to recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States Army.”
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Then, to really seal the deal, the “Top 3” final question: What does “confidently beautiful” [the pageant’s motto] mean to you? Barber’s answer was perfectly poised and garnered a major applause from the crowd.
“To me, confidently beautiful means understanding it’s not always about your appearance. It’s not always about who you are around and how they feel you look, where they feel you come from or your economic background. Serving in the military has taught me that being confidently beautiful is about being able to earn respect from people regardless of what you look like. As a woman in the military, people associate beauty with weakness and they learn very quickly that I’m extremely strong, and though I’m small, I’m powerful. Confidently beautiful is being myself and being very happy with who I’ve become.”
— Deshauna Barber (@MissUSA) June 6, 2016
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Barber, who pageant announcers called “the most disciplined contestant this year,” plans to focus her platform on the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for soldiers who return from deployment and are suffering. One of her main goals? To break the stereotypes often associated with pageantry. Overall, a very positive message, a beautiful woman and a deserving winner. We’re excited to see where her yearlong reign will take her. Who was your favorite?
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