Last night, LaQuisha Hall, was crowned Mrs. International Beautiful 2012, in Orlando, Florida. This was a night of firsts for Hall, it was her first time taking home a national title, and the first time she wore her natural hair in a major beauty pageant. Most would not understand the significance of winning a beauty pageant with natural hair, but now LaQuisha Hall knows first hand the risks involved with competing with natural hair.
The National Pageant Examiner has been following Hall on this journey since. In June, Hall explained the risks, “Pageant standards can be very high,” explains Hall. “In the past, all that I have seen in winners has been straight, long, wavy, and curly hair. I used to alter myself to look like what I thought they wanted the winner to look like.”
Hall had a change of heart on what her personal beauty was after a mentoring trip to Switzerland, “I was in Switzerland and didn’t have anyone that could perm my hair,” says Hall with a laugh. “By the time I came back, my hair had grown so much that my natural hair was tangling with my permed hair. Through the encouragement of women from the Heal A Woman to Heal a Nation Organization, I decided to embrace my authenticity and I cut off all of my relaxed hair and have been wearing it natural ever since. My self-esteem has never been higher.”
Hall was crowned Mrs. Maryland Beautiful 2012 earlier this year and chose to wear her natural hair to a youth event she was speaking at, “I made the decision to compete with natural hair after I spoke at an event to more than 500 youth. Initially, I went back and forth about whether I should wear my wig as I had done on other appearances but opted to go natural. When I was finished speaking, a young girl approached me and said that she never knew there were beauty queens with hair like hers, that was my defining moment.”
Natural has been working for Hall as she has embarked on a successful modeling career and has appeared in beauty campaigns throughout Maryland. She was also featured on Essence.com for her natural hair in July, and now she can add the six inch, International Beautiful crown to her shelf of accomplishments.
“I was afraid to get excited before the pageant,” Hall told the National Pageant Examiner right after her win. “But now that it has happened I am getting more and more excited with each passing minute.”
Though Hall is thrilled to have won the title she teared up for a moment before saying, “I was missing my biggest cheerleader in the audience, my husband, Mardis Hall, who was cheering for me at our home in Maryland.”
Follow LaQuisha’s journey on her blog, Corner Curl Girl, http://ccurlgirl.blogspot.com and by logging on the International Beautiful website: www.missbeautifulpageant.com
Follow the National Pageants Examiner on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/282246741891676/
Create your own autograph cards and business cards: www.zazzle.com/pageantmarketing*