For the first time in history, Miss Universe is a woman with natural hair. On Sunday, Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi won the crown with her beautiful short, Afro-textured hair — and she did it despite being told by "a lot of people" that she should wear a wig.
"It was so strange because even a lot of people I knew, people that were my friends, were like, 'Sis, we love you, but we're just saying, maybe you should put on a wig or buy a weave,'" she told Insider.
A few years back, Tunzi realized that she was sick of spending hours in the salon. "I decided, no, this is not worth it," she told the site. "I decided that I just want to go for a different look. I'm going to cut my hair and see how it looks from there. And I just remember looking into the mirror and loving it."
When it came time for the pageant, she didn't want to compromise her appearance to fit what her friends and advisors perceived as the "Miss Universe look": long, straight hair. Instead, she decided to keep her natural hair and appear on the Miss Universe stage in the look she liked best.
"I was like, 'No, you know what, I'm going to do it the way I am, because I've been with my natural hair for the past three years,"' she said. "I don't see why I should change it just because I'm stepping into another platform."
Tunzi chose to be herself, and she has a crown to show for it. Congrats to Tunzi on her history-making win — and for serving as one more reminder to define beauty on your own terms.
More on natural hair:
- 8 Tips for Travel Lovers with Natural Afro-Textured Hair
- New York Passes Its Own Natural Hair Discrimination Law
- 11 Tips for Washing Kinky-Curly Hair the Right Way
No, watch Zendaya try nine things she's never done before:
Originally Appeared on Allure