Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new Miss USA!
Miss District of Columbia Deshauna Barber wowed the judges with her beauty, talents and intelligence at Sunday night’s annual beauty pageant broadcast live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
While there was plenty to celebrate in the final moments, the final three ladies went through several big tasks before a winner was crowned. In fact, the finalists including Miss Hawaii and Miss Georgia had to define what “confidently beautiful” meant to them.
“To me confidently beautiful means understanding that it’s not always about your appearance. It’s not always about who you’re around and how they feel you look, where they feel you come from or your economic background,” Deshauna explained. “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 although I’m small, I’m powerful and confidently beautiful is being myself and being very happy with who I’ve become. Thank you.”
Earlier in the show, Miss District of Columbia was also asked about the Pentagon’s recent decision to open up all combat jobs to women. As you likely could have guessed, the veteran had one great answer.
“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,” she shared with the judges and the entire audience. “We are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit, I’m powerful, I am dedicated. And it is important that we recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States Army.”
Scary questions aside, the entire beauty pageant began with 52 contestants who had plenty of reasons to advance into the semifinals. Ultimately, only 15 beauties were able to make the bikini portion of the show.
Soon after, another five were eliminated allowing only 10 ladies to show off their evening gowns. The list then dwindled to five people who were faced with tough questions from judges including Nigel Barker, Ali Landry, Joe Zee.
Ultimately, it was Miss District of Columbia who deserved the official title of Miss USA 2016.
Congratulations to all the contestants for another beautiful evening.
By Mike Vulpo