The feeling of beauty and worth are commodities that every human being should have access to. Going out into the world and having this sense of self-worth is more powerful than some may think. This feeling of value and pride in one’s self can help an individual make leaps and bounds, achieving what they know they deserve to achieve. But, that confidence can be hard to capture in the world we live in today. And for some marginalized groups, the feeling of worth can seem even harder to reach in a largely Eurocentric scope of beauty.
CSU has an active team of cultural offices and resources, which foster a culture of inclusivity and love for students of color. One of those offices is the Black/African American Cultural Center.
“In our office, our primary goal is to enhance the overall college experience so that students achieve academically and are able to compete in a global society. We aim to do this through academic programming, professional and personal development, and cultural programs that embrace black and African American experiences; like our annual Mr. & Ms. CSU Homecoming Pageant,” Ivan Hubbard, a student development and retention coordinator at the BAACC office, said.
This year’s Mr. & Ms. CSU Beauty in Color, held Oct. 2, continued a tradition of highlighting the beauty both inside and out of African American students at CSU. The pageant consisted of beachwear, talent and formal wear, but the interview portion was just as important. The questions were rich, meaningful and truly attempted to tap into the soul and mind of each contestant.
Hubbard further elaborated on the event is and its significance, “The purpose of this pageant is to showcase black beauty and demonstrate that beauty comes in all sizes, shapes and colors. More importantly, black beauty is beyond external, it truly is internal.”
Beyond being a beauty pageant, this event encouraged an entire community to embrace their bodies and minds just as they are. “The pageant has an impact on the campus culture because it allows students to come together and embrace different talent and strengths they have,” Dawnae Dent, senior human development and family studies major, said. “It also presents that black beauty and beauty in general is not always what society says it is. Kings and Queens come in all different shapes, colors and sizes. Through the pageant we enforce the mentality that it is okay to be you.”
The importance of an event like Beauty in Color sends a shock wave of positivity not only among African American students, but the whole student body. This event, the BAACC office, and all of our other cultural centers will continue to create a culture of acceptance and understanding within our campus.
Big shout out to this year’s Mr. and Ms. CSU, Daveion Oliver and Alexis Jo’Von Gwin!