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Deshauna Barbe Is Challenging Society’s Beauty Standards

‘I think beauty is about the way you treat others’


Deshauna Barbe spent her childhood moving from army base to army base. Born into a military family, Deshauna joined the military at 17 years old.

At the time, Deshauna had no idea that she would be the first woman in the country to win the title of MissUSA while on active duty.

Soooooo about my ugly cry face though? 😂Anyway, exactly one year ago today destiny took hold of my life. If someone had told me when I was 19 years old first competing in pageants that 7 years later I would be crowned Miss USA….. I would've laughed hysterically at their absurd comment. 😂 I mean I was a normal girl, who didnt want the red carpets, photo shoots or life in front of a camera. I was and have never been a huge fan of being in the public eye. I saw myself as a businesswoman in a big Fortune 500 company and envisioned myself serving my country for 20 years. How could being Miss USA ever fit in that story? Can I be the woman in the spotlight that constantly has little girls looking up to me? Look up to Deshauna? Pshhhhh naw I don't think so. Could I be the face on TV speaking about non profits and causes that are near and dear to me? Can I be the happy girl, smiling at the galas and banquets working to help raise money for international causes? Is that actually who I am? Or am I just a normal girl who wants to serve. Am I the girl who just likes the hands on grunt work at her unit and lives a super private life and goes to her 9-5 job each day? The girl that loves putting on the uniform. I mean what Miss USA have you seen that wears an army uniform? I can't be both! These were my questions when I was younger. 😂 Fast forward 7 years, I stood on stage and heard three words….. District Of Columbia. Wow! I guess I can be all those things…… I stepped out of my comfort zone to be Miss USA and I loved EVERY SECOND OF IT. I realized that is what made being Miss USA so beautiful was because I know I am such a normal girl who wants a normal life. I enjoy simplicity and I enjoy privacy but for a year I got to experience the beauty of having a voice as big as Miss USA and using that platform to make a difference! What a dream that was. I pray each and every young girl who aspires to be something in life chooses to fight for it. Don't settle for an already told story! Make your own story and create the life you want to live!!! Be the trailblazer and create your own path for your life!!! 😉 #deshaunabarber #missusa

A post shared by Deshauna Barber•Miss USA 2016 (@deshaunabarber) on


Deshauna entered the pageant world at 19 years old. Over the next few years, she make a name for herself in the beauty queen scene while simultaneously serving in the U.S. Army. She also completed her MSc in Computer Information Systems at the University of Maryland. On top of all that, she was serving as an IT Analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

She wants to let the world know that beauty is meant to be celebrated in all of its diverse forms. And although we’ve come a long way, we still have a ways to go. Deshauna is proving that women can fight for their country and look good in a swimsuit at the same time. She did a lot of work with soldiers who suffered from PTSD.

In an interview, Deshauna said, “In the past I have been very hard on myself about certain parts of my body, but I try to always remind myself that I was given this body and to remain positive.”

And her views on beauty are awesome:

“Beauty to me means more than something physical, and it’s definitely represented internally. I think beauty is about the way you treat others, being a humble and kind person that respects everyone. I think that really represents beauty.”

She says she enjoys the fact that she can show how multifaceted women are – there is both a tough side and a feminine side within us. Hopefully society will continue to challenge its beauty ideals by showing forms of beauty that aren’t necessarily considered ‘mainstream.’

Deshauna plans to continue serving as an inspiration to women all over the world.

“I hope to continue what I am doing to help impact people around the world — particularly young girls and women,” she says. “I plan to never stop working to positively impact their lives by motivating them to always follow their dreams.”


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