Here’s why Steve Harvey is still winning after announcing the wrong Miss Universe

Miss Columbia’s universe came tumbling down after Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner for Miss Universe. The crown, initially given to Ariadna Gutierrez, actually belonged to Miss Philippines (Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach), and the de-crowning literally set the online world ablaze with criticism and, of course, hilarious memes to accompany them.

But . . . was it really that huge of a deal?

Nope. It just further validates the fact that we humans are imperfect, and our happiness, royalty, winning status, or whatever you want to call it, shouldn’t be dependent upon another human being. All of us make mistakes – his was just amplified because it happened to be an international event broadcast on TV – and while it was an embarrassing mistake, it’s something we can all relate to.

Mistakes are how we learn, how we grow. And sometimes, mistakes are our best masterpieces.

What mattered most was how Steve responded to the situation. He did a darn good job at apologizing and correcting the mistake immediately after he realized it, and later one via social media, and he didn’t try to shift the blame. This truly tested his character.

It also tested the characters of the contestants and their supporters. Just think about how much more embarrassing it would’ve been if Miss Philippines threw a tantrum and then realized she was the winner. How she responded spoke much louder. How Steve responded spoke louder. How we respond, speaks louder.

Furthermore, this moment reminded me of a quote from Miss World Caribbean 2014, Rafieya Husain, when I attended the Miss New York World pageant earlier this year:

Don’t ever sell yourself short. This is just the opinion of one, small panel – not the whole world’s.

No matter what’s awarded (or not) to you,  it could always be taken away or skewed by man. The beautiful thing is that no one can take away our character, which will grant us far more than a crown.

Watch the Miss Universe crowning recap below.


Afropunk Fest 2015

I like to consider Afropunk Fest as my initiation into the Brooklyn community — like, you don’t really know Brooklyn until you’ve experienced this explosion of art, culture, and music.

IMG_0038It was the first major event I attended upon moving to the Big Apple in 2013, and it has become sort of like a family reunion, especially for creative people. Aside from the scheduled performances and marketplace, it has been a platform for individuals to simply network, learn from each other, unite, and grow.

This year, the weekend event celebrated its 11th year with talent such as Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lenny Kravitz, Kelis, and Sza.  I only went for one day, Saturday, mainly to catch Lauryn, instead of making laps around the park photographing people like I usually do. Well, I got a few, but it felt good to mostly sit back and immerse myself in the environment.

I stopped by the Carol’s Daughter booth for some free hair samples (they’re alsounnamed holding a fantastic #bornandmade campaign right now); got a photo op at Bevel, an amazing and fast-growing mens grooming brand; and ventured through the marketplace, taking a mental wish list of the businesses I want to support.

And not surprisingly, in light of the heightened racial tensions happening across the nation with the senseless killings of black people by white supremacists, police officers, and the like, there was an increased amount of activism going on, especially for the black transgender community – In fact, Afropunk has an “Activism Row” to shed light on the work being done in New York’s minority community.

Unfortunately, I did not rock my ‘fro this time, but I will be letting it all out today for Curlfest! Stay tuned.

Life lessons from the Miss New York World 2015 pageant

Miss New York World 2015 finalists pose for photos at the end of the pageant on Sunday, March 1. From left to right: April Maroschick (1st runner-up), Katherine Cooksey (winner), Stephanie Miles (2nd runner-up), Delesia Watson (3rd runner-up).


finalists-miss-new-york-world-2015“Don’t ever sell yourself short. This is just the opinion of one, small panel — not the whole world’s.”

That’s what 2014 Miss World Caribbean Rafieya Husain told the Miss New York World candidates before she announced the winners. It is so important not to take people’s opinions to heart because there’s always going to be someone who “doesn’t like” something that you do. You don’t want to be swayed back-and-forth by others opinions — in that case, there wouldn’t be a “you.” You are unique, you are special, and at the end of the day, if you have confidence in yourself, no one can truly defeat you.


delesia-miss-new-york-world-2015The gowns at the pageant were stunning, but the smiles were what made or broke the candidates’ runway show. Presentation is the key.


judge-miss-new-york-world-2015Pageants (or any competition) can be so robotic and uptight, but that’s no fun and wasn’t going to slide this time. In between sessions, the hosts loosened things up a bit as they introduced the judges who held their own spontaneous (and funky) runway show.


If you’re a fool for your dreams, you’ll like this

The word “fool” is taking on a new meaning as Foolies Limited Clothing takes over the Internet.

The company, as I’ve written about before, supports those who have “dreams so big that one may consider them a fool,” and I am always honored to be a part of the family.

Today, I participated in a three-hour Twitter conference it held to wrap up its “28 Days of Dreamers” movement, and it had an overwhelming response.

Lead by Alton Edmond, Kimberly Gant and Jessica Anderson, it covered the topics “tackling your fears,” “finding creativity and inspiration” and “comparing yourself to others.”

Instead of sifting through the #28DOD hashtag, I made it easier for you to catch up on everything with a Storify recap.

Happy reading!