When pageant winner Kára McCullough wore her natural hair during the Miss USA pageant 2017 earlier this year, women of color took notice. It was deemed hugely significant, especially because Black women are still told that their natural hair is unprofessional and inappropriate for the workplace. During Miss Universe 2017, Miss Jamaica wore her hair in an Afro, and Twitter loved it. Online, the only question people had was a simple one: How would they crown her and get the tiara to stay put? I’m sure it would’ve been fine, but unfortunately for her fans, they didn’t have anything to worry about — Davina Bennett was named second runner-up.
Still, her hairstyle was hugely significant. I’ve written about my complicated relationship with my natural hair and my battle to see it as beautiful. Every time I see a woman of color in a position of influence wearing her natural hair with pride, it tells me Black hair is nothing to be ashamed about. I also loved seeing Bennett on stage because I’m half-Jamaican and root for the island whenever I can. I was disappointed that she didn’t win, but seeing her in the top three with her hair in a natural Afro style was still super significant. Twitter was quick to praise Bennett’s elegance along with her beautiful hairstyle.
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