The victory of Jamaica’s Toni-Ann Singh, 23, represents the continuing impact of “Black Girl Magic” as black women have swept all major beauty pageant titles. Black women now hold the titles of .”Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, Miss America and Miss World are all black women. This is the first time in history that this has occurred. Singh is the fourth Jamaican to win the Miss World title, according to the Jamaica Observer newspaper She is also the first Jamaican woman to win the title in over 25 years. Previous winners from Jamaica were Carole Joan Crawford in 1963, Cindy Breakspeare in 1976 and Lisa Hanna in 1993.
Following her win, Singh said she wanted to use her new position to promote “sustainable change” for women and children, according to a news report from Reuters. When asked what value beauty pageants like the Miss World competition have in the current society,, which is impacted by activism such as the #MeeToo movement, Singh noted that the “beauty” portion of the title was the least important element of her victory for her. Instead, she noted that her interest in changing things for the better for women and children and that her role as Miss World allows her to bring attention to the issues that impact them and their quality of life. She told reporters, “So if we’re talking women… it needs to be something that will make sure that their children and their children’s children have a different value of life.
Singh, a graduate of Florida State University, went on to say that it was “OK” to celebrate beauty and strength and other attributes of pageant contestants, but that there ‘is “so much more” to celebrate about her title win. Continuing to describe her experience in the Miss World competition, Singh told reporters that she was a “changed woman” and that she could not say that the experience was only about physical beauty. That attribute was “the last on the list, honestly.” In the talent portion of the contest, Singh sang her version of the Whitney Houston recording of the song “I Have Nothing,” for which she was named the winner of that portion. The 2018 Miss world title-holder Vanessa Ponce of Mexico presented the crown to Singh. Jamaicans who attended the pageant event cited Singh’s victory as a “triumph” for their country, noting that the fact the Miss World title has been won by a black woman is a very significant occurrence as it represents a positive recognition of Jamaican culture and how the world has made progress.
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