Tonight, Olivia Jordan gave up her crown as Miss USA, relinquishing the title to the 2016 winner, Deshauna Barber. Barber came into the competition as Miss District of Columbia and now she walks away as Miss USA. Read on for the facts on Barber and her win tonight.
1. Barber Is a Commander in the U.S. Army
When Barber is not stunning on stage, US Weekly reports that she is a logistics commander for the Army. She is also an IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce.
2. Her Platform as Miss USA Is Dedicated to PTSD
On of Barber’s biggest causes, going into the Miss USA Pageant, is treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her focus is on the treatment of soldiers who return from deployment and are suffering. Tonight at the pageant, she also wanted to speak about the importance of gender equality in the military. On stage, Barber stated:
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 militaryWe 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.
Barber’s father was also in the military as he is now a retired Army Master Sergeant.
3. Barber Gave the Definition of Miss USA’s “Confidently Beautiful” Tagline
The motto of Miss USA is to be “confidently beautiful” and the top 3 contestants were asked what this phrase meant to them. Barber’s response was this:
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. 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.
4. Her Goal Was to Break Stereotypes By Being in the Miss USA Pageant
One of Barber’s goals in participating in the Miss USA Pageant was to break stereotypes, telling The Washington Post:
I’m being able to say that no one pageant girl does the same thing or has the same background, and I’m also saying that no one soldier has the same background and does the same thing. That we can be feminine, we can be in beauty contests, we can be models. So there’s stereotypes on both sides that I feel like I’m breaking by even being here and being able to compete for Miss USA.
5. Miss Hawaii Is the Runner-Up to Barber
Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin was very care-free and poised during the Miss USA Pageant. She is very inexperienced when it comes to pageants, but you could never tell. Hardin was given a very difficult question on stage, asking her to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the Presidential election. Fortunately, she was able to side-step a definitive answer with grace and charm.