The Pageant Moment Everybody Should Be Talking About

Photo: Courtesy Of Miss World.
While everybody was busy gasping and "Oh-my-god"-ing over Steve Harvey's announcement mix-up at last night's Miss Universe competition, another beauty-pageant contestant was making headlines — ones that don't fall under the "most embarrassing moments of 2015" category.

During the Miss World competition, 24-year-old Sanneta Myrie became the first contestant to wear her hair in dreadlocks. Myrie, a doctor who was crowned Miss Jamaica back in August, placed in the top five during Saturday's pageant in Sanya, China, and walked away making history.

"I lock my hair because I identify with it," Myrie told BET. "I am very much rooted in that Afrocentric nature, where we as Jamaicans are rooted. It's my expression. The only thing to eclipse the natural beauty of Jamaica is the spirit of its people...one of strong resilience, creativity, and ingenuity."

This may be the first time a woman with dreadlocks has graced the stage of Miss World, but it isn't the first time we've seen the hairstyle at a beauty pageant. Zahra Redwood sported the loc look during Miss Universe in 2007. She also broke down cultural barriers by becoming the first Rastafarian to compete for the title.

"The Rastafarian culture and beauty pageants have a great deal in common because they both promote decorum in the attitude of the female and the female as a role model in society," Redwood told Reuters. "You're looking at beauty of the mind, body, and soul." Miss Jamaica participants clearly have a penchant for going against beauty-pageant tradition when it comes to their 'dos. Last year, the controversy surrounding Kaci Fennell's second-place title had everybody wondering if her short hair was to blame for her being snubbed.

All three women's decisions to wear their hair in styles that go against the typical beauty-pageant look, be they natural or short, show notable steps toward uprooting the tired old standards. Here's hoping we'll see even more diversity in 2016.

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