Once upon a time, this writer was a pageant-obsessed little kid; true story. Despite never desiring to compete in one (frankly, it looks like a tremendous of work—and trust, I can put in work), I never never missed a broadcast event; typically settling in with my grandmother or bonus mom to watch. But these days, I have little interest in that #CrownLife unless there’s a Black beauty under it—or several, like the unprecedented pageant sweep of 2019. With that in mind, some recent goings-on in the pageant world have piqued my interest, especially the Monday night crowning of Kentucky’s Elle Smith as Miss USA (the third consecutive Black woman to do so). But as The Root has since learned, Smith was preceded in her moment of glory by Breanna Myles, who captured the title of Miss Teen USA 2021 on Saturday night!
As reported by People, the Florida teen also seemed to be a favorite among the contenders, who rushed her following her emotional win:
When it was down to just two final contenders for the crown, Breanna and pal Hannah Gilliard, Miss District of Columbia Teen USA, excitedly held onto each other as they waited for the winner to be announced.
After Breanna’s name was called, she fell to the ground as Hannah jumped up and down to celebrate the teen’s win before helping her up to her feet and embracing her.
Later, all of the contestants even ran up to give her a big group hug.
“This is a real sisterhood,” the Miss Teen USA pageant wrote on Instagram alongside a video of the touching moment.
“CONGRATULATIONS TO MY BESTIE @breannaamyles,” first runner-up Hannah Gilliard, also Black, captioned a post on Instagram following the big moment. “I am so so SO proud of her win and I am even more grateful that I was able to be on that stage right next to her! ✨ I love you @missteenusa and I cannot WAIT to watch your reign this year,” she added.
This really is the kind of sisterhood we love to see—and Myles had plenty to pay forward to Smith upon her crowning, especially as the elder (and by “elder,” we mean 23-year-old) queen competes for Miss Universe on December 12.
“I am already so in love with my big sister, MISS USA [Elle Smith] 💙,” Myles wrote on Instagram alongside a portrait of her and Smith. “I know she will represent us amazingly at Miss Universe (next week!!!) and cannot wait to share my year with one of the most beautiful and accomplished woman I’m blessed to know. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the opportunity to help crown THE Miss USA, girls… keep believing in your dreams! #PageantryReimagined”
If this is what that #CrownLife looks like now, I just might have to tune back in....maybe. After all, just days after the Miss Universe pageant, the next Miss America will be crowned on December 16.