Miss Jamaica, Davina Bennett may have been the second runner-up at this year’s Miss Universe pageant, but she might as well have taken home the first place win if Twitter has anything to say about it. And, oh, do they ever. The 23-year-old philanthropist and model wowed the crowd and viewers everywhere, not to mention sparked an instant conversation on social media, when she stepped out wearing an Afro. That’s right: Amidst the abundance of the all-too-expected blowouts and straight-hair looks, Bennett proudly wore her natural hair for the competition and her legions of fans and people of color all over the world are living for it.
Shortly after walking onto the stage with her short Afro, Twitter was abuzz with myriad complimentary comments including, “All of that natural hair, melanated black girl magic!! 😍 ,” and “MISS JAMAICA’S AFRO IS GIVING ME ALL TYPES OF LIFE!!!” (And those are just two of the seemingly endless accolades she amassed.)
Bennett wrote on Instagram, ” 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!!!” most likely referring to the outpouring of praise she received for representing the hairstyle people of color have been discriminated against wearing for far too long.
In September, Bennett told the Jamaica Observer that short, natural hair needs to be embraced more and not ignored when they asked about the beauty stereotypes she believes need to be challenged. By proudly wearing her natural hair she is doing just that, standing for women of color who have had to deal with the rude comments, unnecessary stares, touching, and intolerance in the workplace simply because they chose to wear a style that best suits their texture. Not only that, but Bennett’s further proving that Afros deserve to be accepted and celebrated just as much as any other style. She singlehandedly served the inclusivity we so desperately needed at the Miss Universe competition.
Seeing natural hair recognized on an international stage is more than just a step in the right direction — it’s a win for women of color who unfortunately still do not see themselves represented nearly enough in mainstream media and in Western-based beauty pageants. Congrats to Bennett for slaying in this Miss Universe competition and for showing natural-haired women that an Afro is just as beautiful as any blowout. source/allure