The former Miss United States in 2019, Cheslie Kryst, was found dead on Sunday, January 30 in New York, according to the New York police, who confirmed her death to various media. Kryst’s body was found at seven in the morning in the Orion building on 42nd Street, a luxurious 60-story skyscraper in this area of downtown Manhattan near Times Square where she lived on the ninth floor, according to People. Police have confirmed it to be a suicide. The young woman, who was 30 years old, was currently collaborating on the variety show Extra, whose producers have issued a statement in which they said they were devastated and said that she was “a much loved part of the great family of Extra”.
The young woman, according to some American media, left a note where she only explained that she wanted all her possessions to pass into the hands of her mother, who was also a beauty queen, although on a smaller scale; she was Miss North Carolina – a position that Kryst would also have – in 2002. On her Instagram profile, with more than 350,000 followers, she posted a photo of herself where she wrote “May this day bring you rest and peace.”
Born in Michigan, Kryst had attended business school and graduated with a law degree from the University of South Carolina, and before entering the beauty pageant, she practiced as a lawyer, as well as founding the fashion blog White Collar Glam. The young woman was also Miss North Carolina and managed to rise as the winner of the state beauty pageant in May 2019 with a winged gold dress that was a tribute to both the Statue of Liberty and the work of the writer Maya Angelou I know why the caged bird sings (1969); Rosie the Riveter, feminist icon and protagonist of the famous poster; and to the representation of Justice. Her election in 2019 set a precedent because, for the first time, six black women were chosen as winners in major beauty pageants: Miss World (Toni Ann Singh), Miss Universe (Zozibini Tunzi), Miss America (Nia Franklin), Miss Teen USA (Kaliegh Garris), Miss France (Vaimalama Chaves) and Kryst as Miss United States.
Kryst had spoken about the importance of mental health on several occasions. In 2019, on the occasion of mental health day, he wanted to publish a long statement on his Facebook profile, as he now collects The New York Post. “I do everything I can to make sure I keep my mental health in top shape. And the most important thing I’ve ever done is talk to a counselor. It is very easy for me to talk to her, she gives me good strategies, especially if I am sad, happy or I have a difficult month, “he said on the Miss USA channel. “When I’m not talking to her I spend a certain amount of time each day trying to decompress. I disconnect, I turn off the mobile, I don’t answer messages. I just sit and watch my favorite movies.” In another interview a year later, Kryst said that three things helped her a lot: first, getting up early every day, at 6:45; second, “establish certain limits”, also when he was at home, so as not to answer messages beyond six in the evening; and, third, follow an exercise routine “to keep the body and mind in shape.” She once commented that she was proud to have won “with her head full of curls”, her 168 centimeters and marked abs due to practicing athletics in her teens.
Last year, on her 30th birthday, Kryst published an opinion piece in the magazine Allure where he talked about the importance of asking questions and questioning the whys and wherefores, something he was already doing when he won Miss USA. “My mandate was not an exercise that was expected,” he reflected; “Instead, I felt like I filled it with intentions. In fact, from the moment I won, my reign burned within me to commit with passion, intention and authenticity.”
She also said that she was not physically like the rest of the participants, due to her measurements, her hair or her race. “My defiance of the establishment caught the attention of the trollsAnd I can’t count how many times I’ve deleted comments on my social media that had vomit emojis and insults telling me I wasn’t pretty enough to be Miss USA or that my muscular build was actually a man’s body.” She felt proud of herself, both physically and mentally, and stated that during the contest she had not hesitated to give her opinions on issues such as “the legalization of marijuana, the immigration policies of the Trump government, the anti-abortion laws.” She declared herself a fervent follower of the Black Lives Matter movement and, as she said, she had manifested herself in some of its marches, not to seek “awards or recognition” during her reign, but to “raise her voice against injustices”, her passion.
The relatives of the former contestant have asked for privacy in these moments of bitterness and have wanted to maintain that Cheslie “cared for, loved, laughed and shone”, and that she will be remembered “as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor and colleague”. “Her enormous light inspired many others in the world thanks to her beauty and strength,” they say, explaining that Cheslie was a great servant of others “whether in her work as a lawyer fighting for social justice, as Miss USA or as presenter in Extra”. “We will know that his strength will continue.”
According to the WHO, one in 10 deaths in the world is due to suicide, while depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and, also according to the WHO, it will be the main health problem in 2050. In Spain , an average of 10 suicides are committed every day. In the US, according to the Foundation for Suicide Prevention and with data from 2019, this is the 10th leading cause of death in the country. In 2019, 47,500 people took their own lives.
If you need help:
-Phone of Hope: 717 003 717
-Prevention, dissemination and training program of the Spanish Foundation for Suicide Prevention: www.prevensuic.org
-Web for mental health problems in young people. mind-u.cat
-Association for the prevention of suicide The yellow girl.
-Anar Foundation: www.anar.org. Free helpline for minors: 900 20 20 10