In an endorsement to women with locks, a 24-year-old medical doctor, Sanneta Myrie, has been crowned Miss Jamaica World 2015.
Myrie, the first woman to so so while wearing locked hair, copped the coveted crown, joining the ranks of Joan McDonald, who was the first Jamaican woman with an afro to be placed on the Miss World stage.
However, Myrie, does not wish to be judged based on her locks.
“I lock my hair because I identify with it. I am very much rooted in that Afro-centric nature, where we as Jamaicans are rooted from. It’s my expression. I think everybody is entitled to express who they think they are and dance to the beat of their own drum. However, I want people to see me for what I have to offer, which is my presentation, intelligence and charitable work,” Myrie told The Gleaner on Saturday night.
She outshone 19 other contestants, winning what could only be described as a hotly contested competition at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. The two females who came closest to her crown were first runner-up Royanne DeSilva and a regular at beauty pageants, Rochelle McKinley.
Poor Interview Skills
The third-place winner, McKinley, has worn the crown of Miss Global International, and last year she came second behind Kaci Fennel in the Miss Jamaica Universe competition. McKinley’s challenge is with representing herself, and she failed not once, but twice, during the interview section last Saturday night.
Described as a woman with a winning personality by one of the judges, Myrie feels that just about any of the other females in the competition could have taken the crown, acknowledging that the judges had a hard task.
“The 20 young women who made it to the finals this year are amazing, educated, beautiful,
talented, charitable – it wasn’t easy,” she said humbly, noting that she was also extremely confident in her capabilities to represent herself.
“Winning was something I had hoped for, because I am very passionate about being an ambassador of Jamaica, representing my country and putting our culture on display in China,” she said.
Taking home as part of her many prizes the Miss World wardrobe, a University College of the Caribbean scholarship; a weekend at Secrets Resorts and Spa; gym membership, courtesy of the Spartan Health Club; a weekend at Iberostar; a Galaxy S5 and $50,000 credit courtesy of LIME; a tablet from Intcomex; and cash and jewellery, Myrie will compete against 139 other girls in Sanya, China, in December.
Her platform involves the mentoring of teenagers in the Craig Town community in Kingston, a project she says she wants to develop on. “I hope winning will enrich my story and it will be a tool that inspires young people to be what they aspire to be, knowing that their dreams are valid, and becoming the greatest versions of themselves.”
Franchise holder of the pageant, Laura Butler, was very happy with the selection.
“The judging process is tedious. When you are trying to find that spark in a group of 20, it cannot be easy,” she said, adding that the coronation show is a large aspect of the score, but there are many others.
“Our queen must be a role model for young people. It comes with the territory. The queen is carrying the weight of the country,” said Butler, adding that the scores are audited by the reputable PriceWaterhouseCoopers and a percentage is based on attitude and attendance at training.
She said the pre-judging happens the day before the coronation and each judge is given an opportunity to have one-on-one time with each girl. “On the night of the event, they look at their ability to manage themselves on stage.”
A far better
produced event than last year, the pageant, which is plagued by inadequate funding, saw first runner-up Royanne DeSilva, copping the ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ prize; Jovi JaJa, a crowd favourite, received the prize for ‘Best Legs’, Rochelle McKinley, ‘Best Figure’; Talia Soares, ‘Best Skin Tone’; Crystal Tomlinson took home The Gleaner’s ‘Most Aware’, ‘Business Access’, ‘Beauty in Business’ and ‘Most Congenial’. Meanwhile, Sherri-Jo Robinson won ‘Best Smile’; and Flair‘s Girl Next Door winner, Richelle Parchment, copped the ‘Most Adventurous’ prize