Zozibini Tunzi Says Friends Told Her To Wear A Wig Or Weave To Miss Universe Competition

December 17, 2019  |  

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Zozibini Tunzi, of South Africa, being crowned Miss Universe was a historic moment. Not only was this the first time a Black South African had taken the title, it was new to see a Black woman with short, afro-textured hair do so.

And while it was a decision and a look Black women across the world celebrated, Tunzi recently shared during an interview with Insider, that her friends weren’t exactly on board with her wearing her TWA onto the world stage.

“And 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.’ 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.”

When asked if she was offended by her friends’ suggestion, Tunzi said she was not, that her friends were only repeating what “society has taught us and engraved in our minds for such a long time.”

As an advocate for natural beauty, Tunzi, who has been wearing her hair natural for three years, shared her thoughts on historical beauty standards.

“In the past, I think that beauty has been stereotyped to look one certain way,” she continued. “When you open a magazine, that’s what you see. When you open television, that’s what you see. And it becomes embedded within society and ourselves.”

But she’s trying to change that. Not just with her words but with her actions.

“Beauty can be anything. In the past, I think that beauty has been stereotyped to look one certain way,” she continued. “When you open a magazine, that’s what you see. When you open television, that’s what you see. And it becomes embedded within society and ourselves. Anything that is considered unusual and unconventional can still be beautiful too. That’s why I feel so proud about this win.”

Tunzi shared that while she feels like going natural was the best decision for her, she also noted that it was not easy.

“Before cutting my hair, I did have to think about it,” she said. “I was so scared of not looking beautiful when I see myself in the mirror, of people not considering me attractive anymore. And that’s when I realized that we are so scared of people’s opinions, and that needs to stop. “Because once you start feeling that love within you and loving yourself, everything else will follow,” she added. “I cut my hair, and I’ve never looked back.”

Still, Tunzi wants to be clear that living authentically does not mean women shouldn’t wear wigs or weaves.

“It extends to more than just hair,” she said. “It’s about accepting yourself for who you are and how different you are. I hope it just inspires women to be themselves — their authentic selves. If your authentic self is wearing big purple hair and that’s who you are, embrace it! And say, ‘My perfect self is my big purple hair.'”

“That’s my message. My message is not to say to all women, ‘Cut your hair, take off your weaves,’ no! My message is, ‘You are who you are.’ And if that’s your true authentic self, then don’t be shy about it. By remaining myself authentically and speaking my truth and believing in my truth all the time, I’m hoping that it’s going to help someone stand for theirs as well.”

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