On Saturday 14 July, Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers made history after becoming the first black woman to be crowned Miss Universe Great Britain.
The pageant was founded in 1952 and the newly-crowned winner, who hails from Anguilla, will now go on to represent the United Kingdom at the international Miss Universe competition.
It has been a whirlwind two days since being crowned Miss Universe Great Britain 2018. I am privileged to have been chosen from a concentration of talented, ambitious, beautiful and funny women! I am humbled and truly uplifted by those who are embracing my rewarding experience and success as their own. I am deeply grateful for the financial donations of many to the A-sisterhood charity. I am thankful for the sponsors of my pageant sisters 2018, my own and especially @doyen_style @carajewellers @justboutique_nw for believing in this pageant and supporting the girls every step of the way. It is an absolute honour to carry the British flag 🇬🇧 on to the Miss Universe pageant later this year. @gracielevy my pageant coach at @lsp_london – thank you for preparing me for this weekend! The hours we spent pouring over my interview, platform, poise and walk gave me a solid foundation to stand on this past Saturday! Paula – our director- we owe you the greatest respect and appreciation for your unwavering belief that each one of us was capable of capturing the crown. @missuniversegreatbritain @annamariaburdzy thank you for representing class, grace and intelligence during your reign and for inspiring me to enter this pageant system. And to the previous titleholders of Miss Universe Great Britain who i met on Saturday- @taravaitiere @nenafrance @jaimeleefaulkner – thank you for warmly embracing me into the fold like a newly born lamb. 💕😂. To my cherished friends, family and my manager Kerith, thank you for your unwavering support!!🇬🇧💕
A post shared by Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers (@astoldby_dee) on Jul 16, 2018 at 6:02am PDT
Following her historic win, the 25-year-old told BuzzFeed News: “I think it’s really humbling and I think it’s also a privilege for me to become the first black woman who is crowned Miss Universe Great Britain.”
She continued, “I believe that this is the direction that the pageant has been going in for the last couple of years because Britain is a diverse nation, we are a multicultural society and it is time that that diversity is seen on a stage where other young black girls and girls of all ethnicities can see that this is something for everybody not just some of us.”
This happened! My heart is full!! Thank you so much for all of your love and support. The hard work continues NOW!
Miss Universe Great Britain 2018-2019 pic.twitter.com/kXkjE5aokP
— Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers (@AsToldBy_Dee) July 16, 2018
Kentish-Rogers, who recently completed her bar professional training course from The University of Law, is the first contestant with dreadlocks to take home the title and one social media took to Twitter to praise her for breaking conventional ‘beauty standards’.
I loveeee when people break “beauty standards”, especially my fellow dark skin women. Our uniqueness should be celebrated, not merely tolerated.
— preshdidddy. (@preshtawiah) July 15, 2018
While another took to the digital platform to call the winner a “history-maker”.
Congratulations! This warms my heart! You are a true #historymaker
— Donny Smith (@DonJSmithJr) July 16, 2018
National director for Miss Universe Great Britain, Paula Abbandonato, believes Kentish-Rogers is a “true role model” for generations to come.
She told BuzzFeed, “I took over this role in 2008 and I can honestly say there is no better gift then having our first black winner to celebrate 10 years in the job. Dee-Ann is a true role model for all women of all skin colours and with her dynamism off the stage, coupled with her presence on the stage, I genuinely believe Great Britain has a chance at the Miss Universe crown this year.”
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