So many moments in my life African-American women have brought me pride. More recently, Serena Williams winning nearly every match she enters; that time Zendaya shut down Giuliana Rancic for saying she looked like she smelled like Patchouli because she wore faux locks; Beyonce shutting down the music world while simultaneously giving life and love to all who tuned in HBO and purchased “Lemonade”; and last night, Miss District of Columbia, DeShauna Barber, entered my life.
Admittedly, I have very little interest in beauty pageants nowadays. So, unfortunately, I didn’t witness her win. But in my early, every morning routine in checking my emails while still lying half awake, I saw her bent over, beautifully emotional cry. I smiled for her. I was proud for and of her. Then, it struck me. She looks familiar? However, I know for sure that I don’t know her but her familiarity is striking. How do I know her? Then, within seconds it hit me again … SHE’S MY BLACK BARBIE!!!! She looks like the black Barbie that I played with as a little girl. She rode around in a little convertible car, she prepared imaginary food, she strutted down the street and made all who glanced her way, jealous. All at the hands of a pint-sized me.
As I clicked on the link in the email to learn just a little more information about this chocolatey brown beauty, I read – that as many beauty queens – there’s so much more to her beauty. There’s a resilient strength. In an organization that is male-dominated and male preferred, she’s managed to climb and dead man crawl her way to the rank of Quartermaster Officer in 2011 in the Army and today, she is a Logistics Commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit. Her career choice is no surprise as her father was a military man and all during her childhood life, she traveled and lived in many states after relocating from her home town of Columbus, GA.
She is the reason and inspiration for minorities to love themselves and their own. I’m sure she’s been inspired by numerous black beauties from her own mother to a Lena Horne or former Miss USA Vanessa Williams. Her deeply-hued skin gave me shivers and delivered such a one-two punch of stunning that all I could do is just stare. Stare at her on my phone. Stare at myself in the mirror. I connect with her. I connect with her tears of joy. Her smile. Her WIN!
Thank you Deshauna, for showcasing your beauty, intelligence, hard work, fight, dedication and love. Your love for us, your community and your country. We love you right back. Oh so, deeply.