Beauty queen Raissa Santana is proof that #BlackGirlMagic is global.
Over the weekend, Santana became the first black woman to be crowned “Miss Brazil” in 30 years. The last black Brazilian woman to win the Miss Brazil title was Deise Nunes, back in 1986.
Santana, a 21-year-old model and pageant queen from the southern Brazilian state of Paraná, was crowned on Oct. 1, making her the second black woman to hold the Miss Brazil title ever. She will go on to represent Brazil at the Miss Universe competition in January.
After beating out 26 other contestants from across Brazil, Santana told reporters:
“I’m very emotional. This here is a mixture of great emotions. I didn’t expect to win this title, but I am very happy to have won this title and to represent black beauty and encourage girls who have the dream of having something, to conquer, to be a model, to be a Miss…now I want to encourage these girls and show them that they can.”
Around 50.7 percent of Brazilians identify as black according to the latest census taken in 2010, and yet representation of black people in Brazilian media has long been lacking. Santana’s historic win is a huge step for the country in celebrating the beauty, magic and excellence of black women.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the Brazilian state of Paraná as a town.