The other day I read an article by Kevin O’Brien Chang that put Jamaica’s choice of beauty queens to shame. He questioned why it was a practice for us to constantly choose a representative that never does fairly represent us all. I’ve been wondering this all my life. Now according to our motto, “Out of many, one people” you can’t really expect every representative to look all of Caucasian, African, Indian and Chinese at the same time, but there is something wrong when MOST of the time, the chosen ones only look like HALF that mix [which usually excludes the African and Chinese of us]. How many of our Miss Jamaica Worlds/Universes have had slits for eyes or really plump lips? How many have had short, kinky hair? If the winner’s personality outshines the others, fine. But over the years, am I to believe that not enough Chinese/darker-skinned contestants have the ‘right’ character? Only lighter-skinned, straight-nosed, uptown ones that have more of an American accent do?
Remember when that one rasta girl won Miss Jamaica Universe 2007 (Zahra Redwood), how shock ensued in both the upper and lower class realms? How everyone wondered what miracle made her win? Some happy about it (mainly the black some) and others not so much? How, after the happy some celebrated, they said under their breaths, “Well she nah go reach far pon di worl’ stage anyway cuz she nuh look like di res’ a dem”?
To be honest, I think the Miss Jamaica World pageant has shown the world a better representative than the Miss Ja Universe pageant has. Comapre the two for yourself. Have a look at the most current 6 winners of Miss Jamaica World and Universe respectfully:
Do you see a trend?
To read Chang’s article, you can view it here.