The newly-crowned Miss USA supports #MeToo and #TimesUp—and she didn’t shy away from saying so on the pageant stage.
Cheslie Kryst, a Charlotte-based attorney, delivered the winning answer this weekend when all of the Miss USA contestants were asked whether or not they felt that the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements had “gone too far.”
Kryst, a criminal lawyer who provides pro-bono legal aid to incarcerated people, rebuked the question. “I don’t think these movements have gone too far,” she told the judges. “What #MeToo and Time’s Up are about are making sure that we foster safe and inclusive workplaces. As an attorney, that’s exactly what I want to hear and what I want for this country.”
Kryst’s comments weren’t the only echoes of feminist progress that rang through America’s beauty pageants this year. For the first time in history, Black women are wearing the nation’s most prestigious crowns: Nia Franklin became Miss America in September, and last weekend Kryst and Kaleigh Garris won the titles of Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. Kryst’s comments, however, also served as an ironic send-up of Miss USA’s former owner, Donald Trump, who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by over one dozen women.