So like every other Jamaican around the globe, I was glued to my television this past Sunday to cheer on and to send positive energy to our Miss Universe hopeful, the lovely, stunning and jaw dropping Kaci Fennell.
Kaci captured my heart not only because she was a fellow Jamaican but because she forgo that weave nonsense and chose instead to be who she really was, a Jamaican girl of mixed heritage with a short pixie haircut. It was probably the haircut and her resemblance to American icon, Audrey Hepburn that captured the hearts of everyone else. Or maybe it was the red Uzuri gown and her quiet confidence.
Througout the pageant, Kaci smized, she allowed her happiness to radiate from within! She didn’t flash a fake toothy smile like the other contestants, but when she did, I could tell that her smile was as authentic as her hair. Clearly from her stance, expressions and interaction with the audience, Kaci was marching to the beat of her own drum. We stopped breathing when she tripped or slid several times on her gown or the slick pageant stage floor but a loud roar of gladness and a sigh of relief erupted from every Jamaican across the globe when she was named as the first contestant into the top 5 of the pageant.
It was hard to understand the question from that Estefan judge over his SUPER thick accent and that super annoying loud music that nearly spoiled the pageant from the minute they started the broadcast. Who composed that shit anyways? My heart dropped when she missed the question COMPLETELY, but then the other contestants did just as bad. When I heard the final question, about what their countries contributed to the world I stood up, beated my chest and said out loud, “you’ve got this Kaci!”
For such a small, economic fragile island you can’t deny the influence that we have around the world. There’s reggae, hip hop, Bob Marley, Shaggy, Sean Paul, jerk cuisine and some of the fastest athletes of our time which includes Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser. It was as if the question was just for her and she answered it effortless without any umms, ahhs or looks of fright. The other contestants…
So although I knew that Kaci wasn’t going to win the crown based on the answer to her first question, I didn’t think she was going to place fifth behind Miss Ukraine who thought her countries best contribution to the world was their army and Miss Netherlands who declared herself the ambassador of child prostitution. Yeah, I know what she meant but still…
What took place, I mean what IS taking place after must be so upsetting and embarrassing to the winner, Miss Colombia and the Miss Universe pageant as a whole. The audience booed, the other contestants rallied around Miss Jamaica, hoisted her in the air, WHILE Miss Colombia was doing her pageant walk. Twitter erupted and almost every news channel and print publication around the world ran a story or is running a story on Kaci Fennell.
So why is Kaci Fennel on the tip of everybody’s tongues? It’s simply because she chose to be her own damn self, confidently! It wasn’t just because she kept her hair short. The girl didn’t come across as a pageant robot. She had personality and represented Jamaica with grace, style and authenticity!
All that authenticity that they talk about for fashion and beauty bloggers, yeah that needs to travel over into the pageant world as well. And for the people making the standard of beauty argument, can you please add Miss Puerto Rico into the mix? She dropped 60 pounds before she began her pageant journey and also after being bullied because of her weight. Along with hair and skin, body type is a standard of beauty that we should be talking about after this pageant as well.
That’s my two cents!