Cape Town - Breaking racial barriers, for the first time in American history three black women reign as Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America.
28-year-old Cheslie Kryst completed the beauty queen trifecta when she was crowned Miss USA, joining 18-year-old Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris and 25-year-old Miss America Nia Franklin.
According to the New York Times the historic occurrence is powerful symbol of how much American views on beauty have evolved from a past marred by racism and gender stereotypes.
To draw attention to the momentous milestone, the three beauty queens grace Essence's latest digital cover, showing off both their natural and bejewelled crowns.
"Pageants weren't always welcoming to women of colour. It took decades of persistence and courageous women showing the world a new kind of beauty," attorney Cheslie Kryst (Miss USA 2019) told Essence.
The article was also accompanied by three photos of Cheslie, opera singer, Nia (Miss America 2019) and activist Kaleigh (Miss Teen USA 2019), donning three different headdresses.
"Welcome to the era where Black women reign supreme," Essence captioned a photo of the cover on Instagram.
To help clear up any confusion, Miss America and Miss USA are two separate organisations with different scoring priorities and age requirement.
Miss USA is part of a larger circuit where winners go on to compete worldwide in the Miss Universe pageant, meaning Cheslie will go on to compete against Miss South Africa 2019 Zozibini Tunzi for the Miss Universe title in December.
Compiled by Graye Morkel