Miss Universe Material: Perfect Smile, Long Hair, Fair Skin

kaci fennellWhy Jamaica’s Kaci Fennell didn’t win

By Whitley Bermudez

Since the beginning of the Miss Universe competition in 1952, the majority of its crown holders have had a lot in common in the looks department. For the competition, countries throughout the world enter women to represent their beauty. Apparently, most beauties have long hair, fair skin and a perfect smile; in the 60 years since the pageant began, only four crown holders haven’t had that profile.

Nothing changed this year: Miss Universe 2015, Paulina Vega was earlier this year, and she follows the same standard of beauty. She represents Colombia, where only 20 percent of the population is white. But the viewers had a different take: The audience thought Miss Jamaica deserved the title.

Before being crowned, Miss Universe candidates go through a series of mini competitions, and they aren’t all about looks. A question and answer portion of the show helps the judges and viewers get to know the final contestants on a more personal level and to highlight their intelligence. During this year’s question and answer portion some of the best answers came from Miss Jamaica, Kaci Fennell (pictured). On the other hand, Vega did not provide the judges with good answers or even answers that related to the question being asked. When it was announced that Fennell was fourth runner up, the crowd responded with anger and disappointment.

So why did Miss Colombia beat out Miss Jamaica, who is also gorgeous? Behind the scenes, Colombia has a strong pageant support base. But more, Miss Jamaica did not fully represent the competition’s traditional standard of beauty with her short pixie cut and brown skin. Although she is fair, she’s still clearly of African descent, and her “snub” created an uproar on social media, especially among Blacks.

The backlash proves that people want to see Miss Universe as someone who is relatable to everybody. Most importantly next year, a woman of color should be chosen for a change instead of the usual long hair, fair-skinned beauty.

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