Frank Micelotta/FOXNewly crowned Zozibini Tunzi has already made an impact as Miss Universe when her message to young women on becoming leaders went viral.
The 26-year-old South African native told Good Morning America that she nearly passed out when she heard that Oprah Winfrey responded to her answer on beauty and female empowerment.
“I fainted for a second there because I was like, ‘is this Oprah-Oprah?’ And they were like, ‘yeah it’s the real one,'” she said.
Tunzi said she feels “strongly” about her message to young women.
“It’s something that we should be taught as young girls… and not feel shy about wanting to be powerful and a leader,” she explained.
She also hoped that her win helps break any misconceptions and stereotypes on what beauty looks like.
“Just by being on that stage and representing women who look like me” was an accomplishment, Tunzi said. “And not just women who look like me, but women who have felt that they’ve been misrepresented or haven’t seen a different kind of beauty.”
Whether its body size or skin color, Tunzi said she was “hoping to change that narrative and say look, women are multifaceted, we’re not all the same and we shouldn’t be boxed into one type of beauty.”
For the first time in history, all four major titles — Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and now Miss Universe — all belong to black women.
“It feels fantastic,” Tunzi said. “We come from such a racially divided world and so for us to be moving forward in unity together to say look, these are women that have rarely been celebrated in the past and finally people are starting to see the greatness that is within us — I’m so happy to be a part of this.”
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