Who Is Deshauna Barber? Miss USA 2016 Is A Badass Woman Working In A Male-Dominated Field
It's official: On Sunday night (June 5) Deshauna Barber was crowned Miss USA 2016! Barber — who was representing her home of Washington D.C. as Miss District of Columbia USA — beat out 51 other hopefuls for the coveted crown, including runner-ups Miss Hawaii USA and Miss Georgia USA. Barber was a standout throughout the entire competition, impressing the judges not only with her elegance and eloquence, but with her sharp intelligence and truly badass career serving in the U.S. Army.
According to her official pageant bio, Barber, 26, is currently a "Logistics Commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit at Fort Meade, Maryland," along with being an IT Analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce. The newly crowned Miss USA 2016, who graduated from Virginia State University in 2011, wowed the crowd (as well as the judges) with her response to the perfectly fitting question she was asked in the personality interview round — rejoicing in the fact that the government has opened up more military combat jobs to women and confidently boasting about her own background in the Army.
"As a woman in the United States Army," she began, to thunderous applause, "I think it was an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate into every branch of the military. We are just as tough as men. As a commander of my unit, I am powerful. I am dedicated. And it is important that we recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States."
Barber feels so passionate about women's rights in the military — and all military employees' rights, in fact — that her platform is focused on "PTSD treatment for soldiers returning from deployments and suicide prevention in the Armed Forces," her pageant bio reads.
Though beauty pageants are often focused on the competitors' looks (there was a swimsuit and evening gown portion of this competition, don't forget), I love that our Miss USA 2016 is such a staunch and outspoken supporter of female empowerment. You deserve that crown!