Crown and Glory: Miss Universe 2017’s second runner up sports natural during competition

1 min read

The world continues to fall in love with  Davina Bennet, who receives accolades for wearing her natural hair for the prestigious pageant.

Bennet from Jamaica said she kept her afro because she refused to change her look to standardized beauty. Her stance illuminates a global push by black women to openly embrace, display natural hair and African, black hairstyles.

Women in the United States led this movement in the 1960s and 70s during the Black Power era, where wearing an afro was a symbol of pride. Today, it is a cultural and commercial wave in which enterprises around natural hair care spring up.

In Brazil, a natural hair movement erupted several years ago which circles around Black activism.

Photo Credit: Chuks Sama

In Jamaica, like many islands braids, afros and natural styles are daily hair staples; though in the past when British culture was coveted by the status quo, the natural hair aesthetic from people of African descent was seen as unattractive.

With the rise of Rastafarianism and other cultural movements espousing natural hair, much has changed in Jamaica in the West Indies; however, the issue of ranking via skin color remains. This issue pops up throughout spaces of Black and brown peoples all over the world.

Jamaican official, Olivia Grange, the minister of culture praised Bennet who also has deep brown skin. Jamaica is known for its skin bleaching trend in which women and men all over the island risk serious health issues to lighten their complexion. Grange said that Bennet shows Jamaica that you do not have to bleach or wear false hair to be beautiful and successful.

People from Shonda Rhimes who gushed over Bennet on social media, to reggae star, Anthony Cruz dedicating a song to her have Bennet fever. One time for the brown skin ladies.

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