The way Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett went viral during the 2017 Miss Universe pageant you would have thought the trending beauty took home the title. Even before Steve Harvey (correctly, this time) announced Davina as second runner up, social media was ablaze in response to her quintessential #blackgirlmagic and power afro.
The 23-year-old model did what is still nearly the unthinkable in major beauty pageants by rocking her natural kinks and coils. And that was everything. As Black women, we want to see ourselves in our full regalia, our full power, our full truth. That does not necessarily mean ditching a relaxer or pressing comb. But, for those of us who do, it’s important to see us represented. That’s why, year after year, contestants make the news for becoming the first to rock dreadlocks, their natural curls or really any look that is not super sleek and long.
This isn’t even the first time #MissJamaicaShouldHaveWon became a trending hashtag. In 2015, we questioned whether former Miss Jamaica Kacie Fennell lost because of her short cropped (and wavy) pixie cut. At least today, we are even in more celebration of bucking traditional beauty trends.
“I did not win but I got what I was seeking”,” wrote Davina on Instagram. “I won the hearts of many, I got to highlight Deaf awareness, I stand as the first afro queen to have made it thus far, I represented my little island and I received allll the love one could possibly wish for…. THANK YOU!!! I came, I conquered and if you know me, then you know that’s just another story and you will be seeing a lot more from me💃😉. To all the queens that represented, congrats and to our new Miss Universe @demileighnp go conquer the world you are indeed a gem!😍😙“