Kára McCullough, the winner of Miss USA, is embracing her natural hair and hopes to inspire others to follow suit.
Crowned Miss USA on Thursday 16 May in Las Vegas, McCullough opted to wear her hair naturally for the competition, after she began to notice the lack of curly hairstyles among her peers – all other 49 contestants wore their hair straight.
“When I didn’t see anyone in competitions with my hairstyle, I decided I wanted to break the mould,” she told Refinery29.
McCullough has admitted she was originally ‘afraid’ to embrace her naturally curly hair for the American beauty pageant, which was owned by Donald Trump up until 2015.
“That’s because no one looked like me on television, no one looked like me in commercials, no one looked like me on stage,” she said.
“When I chose to wear my hair curly, I was afraid. I didn’t know if people were going to accept it… if anyone was going to be receptive to it at all.”
McCullough is inspiring people in other ways too.
Working as a physical scientist at the United Nuclear Regulatory Commission, she’s self-funded an outreach program called Science Exploration for Kids, teaching young children about science and mathematics.
Donald Trump sold the organisations, Miss USA and Miss Universe, in 2015.