For The First Time, A Black Woman Was Crowned Miss Universe Great Britain

"Now that I've won the pageant, I've come to the realization that I've not only won the pageant as Dee-Ann, but as a black woman."

For the first time since Miss Universe Great Britain launched in 1952, a Black woman has been crowned the winner of the pageant. 

The winner, Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers, 25, tells BBC News that "although I've been preparing for this pageant for a long time, I've just been preparing as Dee-Ann ... Now that I've won the pageant, I've come to the realization that I've not only won the pageant as Dee-Ann, but as a black woman." 

Kentish-Rogers says that she's received personal messages from people to say that "her win feels like a win for them."

"As it got closer to the competition, I started to feel the magnitude of what this could mean if I were to get the crown, not just for black women, but for Great Britain as a whole."


Two days after taking the crown, Kentish-Rogers took to Instagram with this message:  "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." Kentish-Rogers then goes on to thank those involved in the pageant, including her coach, and more.  "It is an absolute honor to carry the British flag on to the Miss Universe pageant later this year." 

In another post on Wednesday, Kentish-Rogers captions a photo of herself in a bikini: "This is mine. I live in this body — I know its corners and edges. I take pride in it. Take pride in yours. You cannot shame a woman who is unashamed." 

Kentish-Rogers has a few other impressive accolades to her name: as a competitive athlete, she took home a silver medal and a bronze medal at the Central American and Carribean Games and in the CARIFTA games in 2014, respectively, Hello Giggles reports

For Kentish-Rogers, competing in pageants has given her the opportunity to share her voice. 

"Pageantry has been getting a lot of backlash because of people thinking it's very archaic, but pageantry for me has given me a platform, given me a voice, given me the opportunity to empower myself," she tells BBC News

Kentish-Rogers's win comes shortly after a transgender woman was crowned Miss Universe Spain for the first time ever. The winner, Angela Ponce took to Instagram in Spanish to share what her win means to her: "Today begins a new cycle for me, committed to myself, with my mission of life, with Spain, I'm going to the @missuniverse, with the awareness and commitment to carry forward a message of inclusion, respect, tolerance, love for oneself, love for others."

You can check out more from Kentish-Rogers below:


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