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Black girl magic: Jamaica wins Miss World title

She is the latest black woman who has nabbed a major beauty pageant title this year, after South Africa's recent Miss Universe triumph

LONDON – Jamaica’s Toni-Ann Singh was crowned Miss World 2019 on Dec 14 and said she wanted to use her title to work for “sustainable change” for women and their children.

Asked about the value of beauty contests in today’s world of MeToo# and the drive for equality and respect for women, the 23-year-old psychology graduate of Florida State University said beauty for her was the least important aspect of her achievement.

“I want to make a change that’s sustainable. 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,” an overjoyed Singh told reporters after winning the title in London. Miss France and Miss India were runners-up.

She did not specify what kind of change she had in mind.

“It’s okay to celebrate things like beauty and attributes like strength and those things. But this is so much more,” she said as she hugged her proud parents Jahrine and Bradshaw.

Describing herself as a “changed woman” after the experience of taking part in Miss World, Singh added: “There’s no way I could chalk it up to just being about beauty, because that’s the last on the list, honestly.”

Singh, who sang a version of the late singer Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing in the competition, received her crown from last year’s winner, Vanessa Ponce of Mexico.

She also tweeted: “To that little girl in St. Thomas, Jamaica and all the girls around the world – please believe in yourself. Please know that you are worthy and capable of achieving your dreams. This crown is not mine but yours. You have a PURPOSE.”

Jamaicans attending the event hailed Singh’s win as a triumph also for their Caribbean island nation.
“The fact that Miss World is won by a black person is very, very significant to us because it represents a lot in terms of our culture, in terms of how far the world has moved on,” said audience member Christine McDermott, who lives in London.

In addition, for the first time in the pageant world’s history, all major titles this year — Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe — are held by black women. - REUTERS/AFP

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