Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters won the crown at this year’s Miss Universe pageant, and while the 22-year-old is being celebrated worldwide, there are many people who feel Miss Jamaica, Davina Bennett, really deserved the title.
Seeing women of color compete in pageants while rocking their natural hair is an empowering deviation from seeing the blown-out, straighter hairstyles contestants traditionally wear. Bennett, the second runner-up for Miss Universe, not only showed off her crowning Afro glory, but did so with grace, intelligence, and confidence — and people are beyond here for it.
One Twitter user shared, “Davina represented not only #Jamaica in the #MissUniverse but the black race. I wish she’s the one who should have won. She displayed her Afro with pride redefining the competition. Young black girls out there can feel confidence in their natural hair without whitening it.” The post has since gotten more than 1,000 hearts and more than 300 retweets, with one person going so far as to comment, “Miss Jamaica was robbed.”
Bennett glowed as she competed against 91 other contestants and steadily climbed her way to the top three. During the pageant, she was asked, “What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe?” Bennett responded, “The quality I am most proud of is my drive, my determination. I am the founder of a foundation that spreads awareness for the deaf community, and this platform is such a great platform to just let persons know that these persons need opportunities and need equal opportunities and goals in our society. So Miss Universe competition will be the platform for me to use this foundation to spread awareness for all the deaf people around.”
After the competition, the 23-year-old took to Instagram to express gratitude for all the support she received. “I did not win but I got what I was seeking. 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 possible wish for.”