Saturday, 2 December 2017

THE BEAUTY PAGE: Davina raises the bar with her naturalista appeal + Uzuri’s Mark McDermoth on challenging beauty biases + Naomi Cowan opts for fly-girl braids

MANE ATTRACTION: India Arie’s smash hit “I Am Not My Hair” could easily become Davina Bennett’s theme song, in the wake of her dazzling exploits at Miss Universe 2017, where she placed third – and prompted international beauty authorities like Essence and Allure to hail her as a stunning new symbol of all-natural black beauty. “I had the afro before the competition, and I decided that I was not going to change to fit the standard of beauty of how pageant girls should look,” she recently told an interviewer. “My hair should not be a barrier from succeeding in the pageant. I am happy that I made the decision to follow my mind.” Though she does admit that her stand-out-from-the-pack look was an asset during the Las Vegas-hosted competition, Bennett wants some of the focus and the credit showered on the hard work she put into her preparation. “I would think my hard work and dedication allowed me to get this far and create the impact that I wanted,” she said. “This journey was hard. The whole experience was based on revamping my complete self as a queen.”

COFFEE & CREAM: What lessons are Uzuri’s Karl Williams and Mark McDermoth, Miss Universe Jamaica franchise holders, taking away from the 2017 experience that introduced the world to Afro sensation Davina Bennett? For starters, Jamaica needs to celebrate those gems who challenge long-held biases and stereotypes against beauty. “We will continue to scout for those amazing Jamaican beauties and we will continue to put them on these international platforms, because that is how it should be,” McDermoth noted in a recent interview. “We should put our best forward, no matter the skin colour or the texture of her hair, and let the chips fall where they may.”

HER STYLE, HER WAY: Drop-dead gorgeous singer Naomi Cowan was always a pixie cut kind of girl. But now she’s traded her signature ’do for long, regal braids that stole the spotlight during her mainstage performance at the Caribbean Love Now ‘Jamathon’ megaconcert inside the National Indoor Sports Centre last Wednesday night. Naomi owns the look. And if thought she was a dead ringer for mom Carlene Davis, you should see her now!

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