Many pageants are mission based and purpose driven. Some are designed to provide scholarships to deserving young women while others nurture and build confidence. There is even a pageant that celebrates wearing your natural hair and living a healthy lifestyle. This pageant is known as the Miss Natural Hair and Health Expo Beauty Pageant. The Miss Natural Hair and Health Expo Beauty Pageant coincides with the Natural Hair and Health Expo. The Natural Hair and Health Expo, created by Vision Beauty Distributors Victor and Jeffery Simmons, is one of the largest natural hair and health events in the Southeast. The Expo is composed of seminars and workshops that are designed for consumers and stylists to learn more about products related to natural hair, health and wellness.
The pageant contestants come from a pool of women, ages 18 and older, who choose not to chemically relax their hair. Contestants who compete in this pageant are the faces of the natural hair movement, a movement composed of women of African descent who embrace and wear their kinky, curly, or textured hair. Even though this movement been around for a few years now, a good number of “pageant naturalistas” still feel they do not have the opportunity to win the coveted crown or garner accolades in mainstream pageant systems due to the fact that majority of the contestants wear straight hair which is heavily favored during competition. This view has led to the formation of pageants like the Miss Natural Hair and Health Expo Beauty Pageant so women can feel free to wear their natural hair during competition and not fear that their decision to display hair authenticity will be counted against them. Even though it is only in its 2nd year of existence, this pageant is growing both in participation and attendance.
The pageant shows women and girls that they can feel confident in who they are and accept who they are naturally. The contestants first competed in a preliminary competition that was held on December 3, 2016, and the final nine that were selected competed in the actual pageant on March 11, 2017, in Birmingham, Alabama. The contestants competed in the following areas:
- Personal Introduction Competition (30 points)
- Gown Competition (20 points)
- Natural Hair Style Competition (30 points)
- Viewer’s Choice/Social Media: Ticket Sales (10 points)
- On Stage Question: Top 5 Contestants (10 points)
Miss Natural Hair and Health Expo Beauty 2017
Even though each contestant graced the stage and exhibited beauty, style, and confidence, only one lucky lady walked away with the crown. Adrian Maria Latham was crowned Miss Natural Hair and Health Expo Beauty 2017. She is a 27-year-old native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Adrian prepared for competition by watching Pageant Planet videos on YouTube, and she received tips from Miss Black US Ambassador 2016 Archie Stewart and Miss Natural Hair and Health Expo Beauty 2016 Jazmund Walker. One of the key things she learned about herself during her pageant experience is not to second guess herself so much. She learned to let go and have fun and show the judges her personality.
Her role model is her 25-year-old sister. She has gone through much in her life, and she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome prior to her teenage years. In spite of her illness, she competed in the Miss New Hampshire USA 2016 Pageant and won 1st runner up. She is also a model. She has gone through so much in life, and she has taught Adrian no matter what obstacles you face, if you put your mind to it you can do it.
Adrian has a mission of reaching out to women of all ages in the natural hair community in Tuscaloosa and further and encourage them to be themselves and let them know it okay to be natural.
2018 Natural Hair and Health Expo Beauty Pageant
The pageant is currently gearing up for its 2018 competition. If you are interested in competing in the 2018 Miss Natural Hair and Health Expo Beauty Pageant, please visit https://www.naturalhairandhealthexpo.com for more information.