As a self proclaimed Naturalista and “Afro- Queen” myself, I’m all the way here for Davina Bennett, Miss Jamaica 2017 and 2nd runner up of the 2017 Miss Universe Pageant!
It is a proven fact that many people of color are discriminated against at school, work and all over society for dark skin and natural afro-textured hair. It was very refreshing to see her not only compete with class and grace, but make it to the very top levels of the competition.
The social media response was overwhelming.
I believe that representation is so important, and the more we see our selves in a positive light and representing positive platforms, the more women everywhere can empower themselves and others to excel.
Davina Bennett has a very admirable tenacity and drive that I’m sure is a driving factor that has gotten her this far. She made it clear in the days leading to the completion that she is very comfortable with herself and would not be changing her appearance for the next levels of the contest.
See her talk about what its like to be a Naturalista on such a huge platform.
Many beauty Queens recently have followed suit. Miss Jamaica World 2015, Dr. Sanneta Myrie , was the first contestant in that completion to rock dreadlocks in the contest, placing in the top 5 and beating out 99 contestants for the spot. In 2016, Army Officer Deshauna Barber was crowned Miss USA 2016, a beautiful dark skinned woman from the District of Columbia. Even as the most poised, All- American contestant, an army officer no less, she faced a lot of hate and discrimination from those who thought she was underserving of her title only because of the color of her skin. She initially did not compete with her natural hair, but during her final walk, and crowning of the Miss USA 2017, she wore her natural afro in all its glory in remembrance of her mom. A Queen wearing her natural crown indeed.
My hope is that the more we are represented in the media in wearing our natural hair that it becomes normalized.
Those of you that know me, know that I have been following a few pageant systems for a few years. Mainly out of researching for my sister that participates in such competitions. In the south pageants are a big thing. And they are usually focused on a certain look. I honestly was not interested until I learned about all the great things that many of these ladies are doing. I had the privilege of attending the Miss Black USA 2017 pageant in August and every last one of those ladies killed it! This system is the epitome of Black Girl Magic and inspiration. To learn more about the Miss Black USA System, click here.
Do you think it is important to see people who look like you in a positive light in the media?
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