Fresh off being crowned “Miss Universe,” South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi took her victory lap to the observation deck of the Empire State Building Tuesday (December 10) in New York.

Looking out from the main deck on the 86th floor of the iconic building, Tunzi was humble.

“It’s such an incredible thing for a young girl like myself who grew up in a village in South Africa to have been able to come and compete here,” Tunzi told Reuters, standing at a vantage point of 1,050 feet (320 meters). “Winning it is absolutely mindblowing, not just for me, but for everyone back at home, because you never imagined these things to happen to any of us.”

According to Variety, Fox’s broadcast of the 68th “Miss Universe” competition was down 18% on last year’s rating.

But that hasn’t stopped Tunzi from making waves.

In the two days since being crowned, Tunzi has garnered praise for her call for individual action on climate change, even as show hosts were seen by some as rolling their eyes.

“I can’t speak for the ‘eye roll’ and what happened in there, but what I can say, though, is that I’m so glad that I got that question (on climate change), because then I was able to express myself, you know, about climate change and how we can all work together towards it. I mean, this is our planet,” she said.

And her victory means for the first time four women of color have received the world’s top four beauty crowns in the same year.

“I think having these four queens who are people of color is absolutely amazing because it means that we’re moving more towards a world where everyone can be considered beautiful, everyone can be considered smart and intelligent and capable.”


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