On Saturday, April 16th, the stage at Midlands Technical College welcomed the contestants of the 3rd Annual Miss Naturally Crowned Hair Pageant. The 9 beautiful contestants impressed the judges with their introduction, career wear and formal wear. In the end, Monae Bispham, Claflin University Alum took the crown, with 1st runner-up Erika Owens, and 2nd runner-up Brandi Outten. All of the contestants were stunning and made an impact on everyone in attendance.
Miss Naturally Crowned is more than a hair show but an opportunity for Black women to be celebrated for both their hair and talents. Founders Jessica Boyd and Maureen Ochola created the pageant for the “everyday naturalista, where attendees can expect to enjoy marvelous manes, motivation, incredible music and magnificence.” Many natural hair styles are considered inappropriate for both the workplace and some schools. This pageant negates any comments that natural hair cannot be formal, fashionable and professional. The contestants showed how versatile natural hair is while also displaying the confidence you develop once deciding to fully embrace the beauty of being a naturalista.
The Vendors displayed the success they found in embracing the natural hair culture. Vendors included Myavana, a personalized hair care plan program, The Queen PhotograpHERs of SC, QPSC, Gabby Bows, hair bows designed with the natural girl in mind, Butter Angels, butter based skin and lip products and many others.
I was a volunteer for the first Miss Naturally Crowned Natural Hair Pageant in 2014, within the same week, I underwent the Big Chop and have never looked back. I had been transitioning for about 6 months prior, toying with the idea of going natural and never returning to the relaxer. With the excitement of the show and compliments I received from the contestants, vendors and my peers, I knew I had made the right choice. I have since been a volunteer for the pageant every year and my favorite part is being a building filled with beautiful brown women rocking their natural hair and loving the woman they are inside. I love the natural hair community and after witnessing this event you will love it too.
If you missed the show don’t fret, you can catch the Charleston, SC show June 24th, 6:00 PM at The American Theater. Get your tickets and see the event recap and photos from the Columbia, SC pageant at Naturally Crowned.