After Cheslie Kryst killed herself Sunday morning, family and friends are trying to understand why the former Miss USA would take her own life. Kryst’s suicide note said that she wanted to leave all her possessions to her mother, April Simpkins. But a reason for her death was not included.
In 2021, Cheslie Kryst wrote an emotional essay in Allure which might give some insight into her mindset before her suicide. The 30-year-old wrote about the pressure she felt about turning 30 and the troll comments that she got on her social media after winning Miss USA back in 2019.
“Each time I say ‘I’m turning 30,’ I cringe a little. Sometimes I can successfully mask this uncomfortable response with excitement; other times, my enthusiasm feels hollow, like bad acting,” she wrote.
“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.),” Kryst added. She went on to talk about her many professional accomplishments and how she always felt like she didn’t matter to society because she hadn’t done enough yet.
“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,” she wrote in the Allure essay. “Far too many of us allow ourselves to be measured by a standard that some sternly refuse to challenge and others simply acquiesce to because fitting in and going with the flow is easier than rowing against the current. I fought this fight before and it’s the battle I’m currently fighting with 30.
At the age of 30, Cheslie Kryst was an accomplished lawyer, a host for Extra TV, and the 2019 winner of Miss USA, being the oldest woman to win the title at 28. She had won numerous awards, started her own blog called White Collar Glam and volunteered with Dress for Success. The former Miss USA also had three degrees, having earned her MBA and law degree from Wake Forest University at the same time.
She said, “A grinning, crinkly-eyed glance at my achievements thus far makes me giddy about laying the groundwork for more but turning 30 feels like a cold reminder that I’m running out of time to matter in society’s eyes — and it’s infuriating.”
According to Cheslie Kryst, despite her accomplishments, she continued to get nasty comments from Internet trolls. They told her that she didn’t deserve to be Miss USA and that her body, face and opinions weren’t standard for a beauty queen.
“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,” Kryst wrote.
Police report that Cheslie Kryst killed herself Sunday morning after jumping from the 29th floor of the Onion building in Manhattan. The 30-year-old owned an apartment on the ninth floor of the luxury building and reports last saw her on a 29th floor terrace around 7:15 a.m. She was found on the ground near 350 W. 42nd Street and pronounced dead on the scene.
Her family later confirmed her death and released a statement. They said, “In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie. Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength. She cared, she loved, she laughed, and she shined. Cheslie embodied love and served others, whether through her work as an attorney fighting for social justice, as Miss USA and as a host on Extra. But most importantly, as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor and colleague – we know her impact will live on.”
The family went on to ask for privacy after the ex-Miss-North Carolina’s death.
Before her death, Cheslie Kryst posted a cryptic Instagram post. She wrote, “May this day bring you rest and peace,” along with a photo of herself.
Many of Kryst’s fans and friends have taken to social media to leave tributes for the former Miss USA. Zozibini Tunzi, former Miss Universe and friend of Kryst, posted a touching tribute to the young woman on her Instagram.
She said, “Cheslie my friend, I am devastated. I didn’t sleep a wink, caught in between not believing the news and trying to make sense of what is happening. You were supposed to send me photos of the outfit you were going to wear to a wedding this past Saturday and all the details that happened at the event. You took me by surprise Queen. I am not ready for a world you don’t exist in.”
The investigation into Cheslie Kryst’s suicide is ongoing.