Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst wrote a revealing online essay last year ahead of her 30th birthday.
She discussed her struggle with time and how she once nearly worked herself “to death.”
Kryst died by suicide in New York City at the age of 30 over the weekend, authorities said.
Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, who died by suicide in New York City over the weekend, penned a revealing online essay last year ahead of her 30th birthday, in which she discussed her struggle with time, internet trolls, and how she once nearly worked herself “to death.”
“Each time I say ‘I’m turning 30,’ I cringe a little,” Kryst wrote in the Allure essay published on March 4, 2021, and titled, “A Pageant Queens Reflects on Turning 30.”
“Society has never been kind to those growing old, especially women. (Occasional exceptions are made for some of the rich and a few of the famous),” wrote Kryst, a Michigan native who won the Miss USA title in 2019.
“Turning 30 feels like a cold reminder that I’m running out of time to matter in society’s eyes — and it’s infuriating,” she added.
The essay gives a glimpse into Kryst’s thoughts less than a year before police say the lawyer and Emmy-nominated TV reporter fatally jumped from the 60-story Manhattan building where she lived.
In the essay, which was published just weeks before her 30th birthday on April 28, 2021, Kryst reflected on aging.
“After a year like 2020, you would think we’d learned that growing old is a treasure and maturity is a gift not everyone gets to enjoy.” Kryst wrote.
She questioned, “How do I shake society’s unwavering norms when I’m facing the relentless tick of time?”
Kryst described how after she graduated from college, she continued her schooling at North Carolina’s Wake Forest University and “decided I’d earn a law degree and an MBA at the same time.”
“I nearly worked myself to death, literally, until an eight-day stint in a local hospital sparked the development of a new perspective,” she wrote.
Kryst said that from the moment she won Miss USA “my reign ignited a heightened desire to commit myself to passion, intent, and authenticity.”
She spoke of how she looked different from typical “pageant girls” who are “supposed to be model-tall and slender, don bouffant hair, and have a killer walk.”
“But my five-foot-six frame won with six-pack abs, earned after years of competing in Division I Track and Field, and a head of natural curls in a time when generations of Black women have been taught that being ‘too Black’ would cost them wins in the boardroom and on pageant stages,” she said.
Kryst said her “challenge of the status quo certainly caught the attention” of internet “trolls.”
“I can’t tell you how many times I have deleted comments on my social media pages 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 body,'” she said.
“And that was just my looks. My opinions, on the other hand, were enough to make a traditional pageant fan clutch their pearls.”
Kryst wrote that her “29th birthday felt very emblematic of the season I’m looking forward to entering.”
She said she celebrated by “parading around in a black silk top, matching shorts, and a floor-length robe while scarfing down banana pudding and screening birthday calls.”
Kryst said she even wore her crown around her apartment “knowing I’d have to give it back at the end of my reign as Miss USA.”
“I did what I wanted rather than the expected,” Kryst wrote at the end of the essay. “Now, I now enter year 30 searching for joy and purpose on my own terms — and that feels like my own sweet victory.”
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