Davina is the 'real' queen - Ms Universe Ja symbolises 'natural' beauty

November 28, 2017
Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett at the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas last week.

Although Miss South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters won the Miss Universe competition on Sunday, it is Miss Jamaica, Davina Bennett, who has captured the hearts of millions worldwide.

Bennett finished third and many believe the afro-wearing black beauty should have walked away with the title.

It was like dej vu yesterday as the world reacted to the placements in the global competition.

Like they did back in 2015 when Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennel finished fifth, after being a front-runner throughout the entire competition, persons from the audience could be heard booing, showing their disapproval inside The AXIS at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas when Bennett's third place was announced.

Even fellow Miss Universe competitors, including Miss Iraq and Miss Egypt, took to social media to crown Bennett as their winner.


Breaking stereotypes


Their support for Bennett mirrors similar outpouring for Fennel, when even as the 2015 winner was being crowned, some contestants hoisted Fennel and cheered her on as their queen.

Also similar to 2015, Bennett has been trending on Twitter along with search terms 'Jamaica' and 'Afro'.

Her Instagram page has grown from just over 20,000 followers before the competition to more than 50,000.

The 23-year-old philanthropist and model is being praised for breaking stereotypes as it relates to pageants' definitions of beauty, by opting to embrace her natural kinks and coils on such a global platform.

Already 'Allure' and Yahoo Lifestyles have written articles about the message her confidence in wearing her natural hair on such a stage sends to women of colour across the globe.

The latter is a move Mark McDermoth, Miss Universe Jamaica 2017 franchise holder, believes is even more important than winning the crown.

Having heard the uproar over Bennett's third-place finish, McDermoth encouraged Jamaicans to look at the bigger picture, pointing out that her representing her natural self will encourage more Jamaican women who look similar to flood beauty pageants globally.




"When Davina came to the competition, we never for a second thought that she should change in any way to fit a stereotype of what people's idea of beauty is," he said. "We felt that she was natural, she was beautiful, and we encouraged her to embrace that and own it. For us to have encouraged her and kept her in this way and to see the reaction today, we are very happy."

He said that they can't pay advertising dollars for what Bennett has done for brand Jamaica in one night.

"It shows that we here in Jamaica are open to embracing variety in our women and seeing the beauty in each one regardless of the texture of their hair or the colour of their skin," he said.

An elated Bennett told THE STAR that she will continue to represent for natural hair beauties and hopes her journey in the competition has encouraged women to be confident in their natural selves.

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