Cierra Jackson Was Encouraged Not To Wear Her Natural Hair For Miss America Pageant — She Did It Anyway

September 16, 2016  |  

Cierra Jackson, Miss America


This past weekend, a new Miss America was crowned during the annual pageant. And while Miss Arkansas, Savvy Shields, took home the crown, it was Miss District of Columbia who caught our eye.

While she didn’t take the overall crown, Cierra Jackson, 24, won a scholarship of $1,000 after being crowned the lifestyle and fitness preliminary winner in the swimsuit competition. The Spelman grad and former White House communications intern did this while rocking her natural hair. She styled her own mane for the competition, and it definitely shined on the main stage. However, as she shared with the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer before the competition, there were people who encouraged her not to sport her natural hair on such an important night. Some people felt that her curls could ultimately hold her back in the pageant. However, Jackson said there was a bigger plan behind her choice of hairstyle that those people couldn’t see.

“I’ve had so many people tell me that I shouldn’t wear my hair naturally curly on stage, but there is a purpose behind that vision,” she told the publication. “It’s to show people that you can still be successful, you can still be amazingly talented and still reach all of your goals. I think that’s a universal message that anyone can grab on to and hold on to in their lives.”

Jackson continued: “I’ve been so blessed that the Miss District of Columbia Board has been so open to allowing me to express myself in that way and embraced me choosing to present myself in an authentic way. I know that it happened this way because God destined it to be this way.”

Could she be any cuter? Kudos to Jackson for not being afraid to embrace her curly coif in front of the world, and for not feeling as though she needed to change herself in order to stack up against the other women competing. In a sea of pageant queens who often look like more of the same, this beauty truly stood out.

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