This year’s Beauty in Culture Homecoming Royalty Pageant queen wore confidence with style and grace.
On Oct. 7, Kerriana Tatum was crowned queen at the annual Homecoming Royalty Pageant hosted by the Black/African American Cultural Center. As a Queen indeed, Tatum represented what it means to be beautiful inside and out.
“It feels amazing to be unapologetically comfortable in my own skin,” Tatum said. “Expressing myself and representing my people and being rewarded and honored because of it.”
New to the pageant scene, Kerriana expressed the unique experience participating in a competition that looked beyond superficial standards of beauty.
“I was nervous the whole time,” Tatum said. “I knew that I would be presenting myself in an environment entirely foreign to me, but it felt great.”
Currently, in her third year majoring in English, Tatum said participating in the pageant made her look at such competitions in a different light. With a multitude of expressions of Black culture represented, Tatum says the talent category resonated with her.
“As Black people, we are not always given the chance to express ourselves in a unique way, and often have to suppress aspects of our identities for comfortability. The BAACC Homecoming Pageant created a space for Blackness to flourish and liberate us.” -Kerriana Tatum, 2018 Homecoming Royalty Pageant Queen
“My favorite part, besides connecting with other contestants, was displaying my vulnerability within my talent,” Tatum said. “Reading my poetry out loud was a clarifying and gratifying experience.”
Tatum is also affiliated with Greek life on campus, representing Zeta Phi Beta sorority which was a motivating factor in her decision to compete in this year’s pageant.
“I always want[ed] to represent and be visible within Zeta Phi Beta,” Tatum said. “So joining the pageant was another way of showing support for my sorority while also being a support for my Black comrades on campus.”
The Homecoming Royalty Pageant is one of many events held annually for CSU’s homecoming week. According to the BAACC office, The Homecoming Royalty Pageant aims to go beyond physical beauty, measuring the contestant’s character and inner beauty through a series of categories including interviews, talent, and formal wear.
“As Black people, we are not always given the chance to express ourselves in a unique way, and often have to suppress aspects of our identities for comfortability,” Tatum said. “The BAACC Homecoming Pageant created a space for Blackness to flourish and liberate us.”
Learn about more events during Homecoming week at homecoming.colostate.edu
Deja Calloway can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @callowaydeja. Collegian Arts and Culture Director Sarah Ehrlich contributed to this report.