We Heart: Miss USA’s #MeToo Moment

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.


Ashley LeCroy is an editorial intern for Ms. and a passionate self-identified feminist who aims both to advocate and make space for the world's most marginalized communities. Ashley is currently pursuing a dual degree in Political Science and English with a minor in Anthropology at UCLA—where she writes for FEM, the student-run feminist news magazine, and works on the Art Series staff for the Cultural Affairs Commission.