Another week, another history-making milestone in the beauty pageant world. For the first time ever, black women wear the crowns of Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, Miss America, Miss Universe and now Miss World.
Miss Jamaica, Toni-Ann Singh, was crowned the 69th Miss World at a ceremony at the Exhibition Centre in London on Saturday. Singh, the fourth Jamaican to win Miss World, stunned the judges with her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” and her responses to their questions.
“This feels like a dream. I’m just so grateful. Thank you for whatever it is you see in me, thank you. I’m ready to get to work,” she said after receiving the title.
The 23-year-old is a women’s studies and psychology student at Florida State University. She aspires to be a doctor and hopes her win encourages girls to fulfill their purpose in life. “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. You have a PURPOSE,” she tweeted.
Singh beat 111 other competitors from around the world. Miss India was named runner-up. Singh takes over the crown from last year’s winner, Miss Mexico, Vanessa Ponce de León.
“I believe there is room enough for all of us women to change the world,” she told her fellow contestants.
Although Miss Nigeria, Nyekachi Douglas, did not win the competition, she certainly won an abundance of praise for the extraordinarily excited way she reacted when the winner was named. When Singh was announced as the new Miss World, Douglas launched into a huge celebration for her friend and her genuine show of support won her fans on social media — at one point #MissNigeria was trending.
Miss World Joins a cohort of recent pageant winners that includes advocates for prison reform, the arts, women’s rights and an activist against gender violence. Last week, Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi, was named Miss Universe.
Earlier this year, Miss USA Chelsie Kryst, Miss Teen USA Kaleigh Garris and Miss America Nia Franklin made history together as the first three black women to wear those crowns at the same time.
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