When woman good, woman good. Normally I don’t care about these “beauty” contests, mainly because I would much rather watch Barcelona/ Real Madrid play or see Lewis Hamilton winning another Formula 1 race. To be honest, these women are not the type I go for as they are normally very slim, with very little/no “bumpa”, but that’s a matter of preference. Davina Bennet changed that completely!
last night I was glued to the results of the Miss Universe finals, where Davina Bennet finished 3rd or 2nd runner-up as they call it. What caught my eye was the woman who was representing Jamaica. Before I go any further, let me just warn you that if you are the delusional type that thinks Jamaica is a country that respects or values black skin then you are probably going to get really upset. Click away now as your blood pressure is going to rise.
“Anything too black nuh good”, is one of the oldest sayings in Jamaica. It’s rooted very deeply in Jamaica’s collective mentality. This saying has been passed down from generation to generation and what is even more spectacular is that some of the people who say this are actually black as well. Matter of fact, other dark skin people are the fastest to call somebody else “black and ugly”.
Alot of mothers pass down their self-hatred to their daughters. This is something most of us have seen with our own two eyes, there are memes about it but it isn’t funny at all. Young girls are slapped in their heads and told how their hair is “tough and dry”, “kabba kabba”, “nappy”, “bad head” and all sorts of nonsense. These little girls receive these messages and sub-consciously they accept that the hair that comes out of their head is ugly and the melanin in their skin is a curse.
They then hear that other races of women have “pretty hair”. White, Arabs, Asian women etc. are held up on a pedestal because they generally have long, straighter hair falling down their backs. What is the end result of all this? As soon as they grow up, they jump over hills and valleys to match this image of beauty they keep hearing and seeing glorified.
Jamaicans spend Billions on weave and bleaching cream
The poorest Jamaican, who will tell you they cannot afford school fee for their kids, cannot afford health insurance, cannot afford educational/skills courses that can make them more employable always find a way to afford bleaching cream and weave. It’s a modern-day miracle, not as great as Jesus walking on water but a miracle nonetheless. If things get tight then the child might have to miss couple days of school but under no circumstances will the hair and bleaching cream purchase be missed. In 2013, Jamaicans spent over $1 Billion on weave Evidence Here
The cold, hard truth is that some black people, especially women do not feel beautiful until they have covered up/erased two of the strongest identifiers of their African roots; their hair and skin tone. Alot of people try to rationalise this with all manner of weak and easily debunked explanations. When you love and are proud of something, what do you do? show it off! you highlight it, you brag about it, not cover it up. Do you buy a Mercedes Benz and then cover it with a Lada badge? nope, under no circumstances would you do that.
Bigga Ford cannot win a contest sponsored by diet pills and six pack programs
Miss Universe is just a tool for the sponsors to milk more money out of the multi-billion dollar “beauty” industry. Davina Bennet does not fit their ideal look and that is why the odds were always stacked against her. Imagine the Mr Universe competition, its basically a competition that is sponsored by gyms and fitness supplements companies. No matter what Bigga Ford says or does on that stage, he will not win. That is because he doesn’t fit the image that they want to push. How are you going to sell Slim Fast pills when Mr Universe looks like he ate the universe for dinner?
Miss Universe is a beauty industry cash cow
That is what stopped Davina Bennet from winning Miss Universe last night. In my opinion, she was not only the most beautiful woman on that stage, but she answered the questions brilliantly and her intelligence shone like a star. Of course, that might be heavily influenced by the fact that she is Jamaican but clearly, she resonated with a global audience or she wouldn’t have made it that far. Jamaicans alone can’t push her to the 2nd runner-up position.
don’t take the results to heart, it’s not the Olympics or world cup
Beauty contests are pageants, they are not sports. In tracks, if I cross the line first then I win, simple as that. Opinions, feelings, mannerisms etc have nothing to do with it and that is why I prefer football, motorsports etc. Pageants are all less transparent and feelings and opinion help determine the winner.
there is no one standard of beauty
Davina Bennet is culturally significant, not because she came 3rd in Miss Universe, not even because she is achingly beautiful but because she has taken the culture one step closer to the idea that there is no one standard of beauty. Fair skin and long, straight hair are not the be all end all of aesthetics. The belief that light is automatically beautiful and dark is automatically ugly must be finally and permanently destroyed. It is ok to have a preference for one type of look, but to degrade those who don’t fall under it is disgusting.
I don’t know you personally but Davina Bennet, big up yourself! your skin reminds me of the cocoa butter lotion my granny use to rub on me. You deserve all the credit you get and I hope you progress much further than “just” a beauty queen.
This is so well said… I really appreciate your art I
article. Thanks for your out put you spoke the
thanks, please like and share online
Our Afro curls grow to reach the sun, creating a natural crown to enhance our melanin skin. Thanks Davina
I couldn’t say it better myself, “natural crown” I like that.
BAWL IT OUT AGAIN MEK DEM HEAR. BIG UP DAVINA !!!
…well written. The article spoke the truth…no ‘beating around the bush’ about the social issues involving skin tone in Jamaica. I harber back to the days when little Jamaica…as poor as it was…was a vanguard in the fight against APARTHEID. Nelson Mandela and other African leaders were highly influenced by the stance Garvey/Jamaica and Garveyites took!!… The vestiges of SLAVERY still exists in Jamaica…in the social structure / skin colouration seen in Jamaica. The BLEACHING of skin and the ‘adoration of a Eurocentric ideals of beauty’ is now prevalent in Jamaica’…and this “mal-mentality” will …and does SHOCK foreigners, who had held up Jamaicans as vanguards in the promotion of BLACK PRIDE. The writer of the article doesn’t skirt around this issue…and so must be congratulated for this. FOR THE YOUND LADY…DAVINA, much respest hon. I hope you ‘HOLD STEADFAST’ in your beliefs that mxde you wanted to ” change the norms at which these beauty contests SEE BEAUTY!!”. …as a footnote, the DANCEHALL fraternity must…imho…take a great share of blame in it’s role of ” Causing the degradation in black love/ AFro-centric love” that RASTAFARI had so marvellously built up in the late 60’s-70’s. The DANCEHALL INITIATED this DEGRADATION…no apologists for them should deny this…it is true. And the HARD TRUTH is…IT continues to do this. Dance can…and should NEVER be held in the same light of respectability, that CULTURAL REGGAE have!!#fact. But the main focus is DAVINA. Congratulates again hon…. hold steafast in your self-beliefs…YOU HAVE GREAT LOVE TOWARDS YOUNG BLACK WOMEN “LOVING THEMSLELVES…BEING CONFIDENT IN THEMSELVES”…ALL OVER THE WORLD!! GREAT GOINGS YOUNG LADY…! Continual blessings from the CREATOR!…, and to the writer again…you did a good job. …
very powerful comment, thanks for the feedback and insight
Beautiful… I really loved your article
Your article was well-written, Kijana, and spoke facts. I applaud you, for such intelligence! I watched Davina all the way, and was proud of her. Congrats, Davina, on a job, well done! I wish you God’s continuous protection, as you advance in your career goal.