On Sunday night (June 5), Miss District of Columbia Deshauna Barber earned the Miss USA title and etched her name in the history books all in one. As the first-ever military member to win the crown, Barber plans to take a break from the Army Reserves but isn’t neglecting her duty to veteran causes.
“As a woman in the United States Army, I think we are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit, I’m powerful, I am dedicated,” the 26-year-old lieutenant expressed in one of the best answers of the night. “Gender does not limit us in the United States.”
Surpassing Miss Georgia Emanii Jovan Davis and Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin, the newly crowned Miss USA plans to use her influence and pageant queen glory to expand the dialogue on veteran’s issues such as suicide and post-traumatic stress.
Any reservations about her ability to get the job done? Barber had an answer for that. In her following speech, she downplayed the notion that her beauty takes away from her strength.
“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.”
The queen has spoken.
Now presenting: The class of 2016 with our new #MissUSA, Deshauna Barber. #💙
A photo posted by Deshauna Barber (@missusa) on