Over the weekend, Jamaica’s Toni-Ann Singh was crowned Miss World. Her win put an exclamation point on the 2019 pageant circuit because, for the first time ever, Black women now hold five crowns in top beauty contests.
With the 23-year-old Florida State University grad’s victory in the London pageant, Singh joined Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, Miss America Nia Franklin, Miss USA Cheslie Kryst, and Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaliegh Garris. Each woman plans to tackle substantive issues and with like prison reform, gender-based violence, as well as working in the medical and education field while addressing conventional beauty standards that have only benefited white women.
After being crowned, Singh addressed that “little girl in St. Thomas” and girls around the world in a touching Instagram post:
“To that little girl in St. Thomas, Jamaica, and all the girls around the world – please believe in yourself. Please know that you are worthy and capable of achieving your dreams. This crown is not mine, but yours.
Whether this fantastic trend continues in the pageant world that has been historically plagued with racism, segregation, and gender stereotyping remains to be seen. But it’s a step in the right direction for significant beauty competitions. Recently pageants have begun to focus more on what contestants do off the stage, highlighting and emphasizing accomplishments and charity work rather than just physical beauty.
Just last year, the Miss America Organization announced it will no longer have a swimsuit competition. Well, it’s about damn time the pageant world for finally realized what we knew for a long time, that Black women are the sugar honey iced tea.
Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / Getty