Sanneta Myrie made history at the Miss World pageant as the first contestant to wear her hair in dreadlocks. Myrie, who is also a doctor, was crowned Miss Jamaica in August. She placed in the top five during Saturday’s event, which was held in Sanya, China.
“I lock my hair because I identify with it,” the 24-year-old told BET. “I am very much rooted in that Afro-centric nature, where we as Jamaicans are rooted. It’s my expression.” After making the top five, Myrie was asked why she should receive the title of Miss World. “My story is one of a little girl whose life was transformed with charity and love and my quest in life is to give that back to as many people as I can, and to inspire the world with my story, that no matter where you are from, your skin type your hair color, your situation — your dreams are valid,” she said. “I believe that beauty with a purpose embodies my quest and if I was blessed with the crown tonight, I would dedicate my essence to give back to the world in a purposeful and beautiful way with charity and love,” she added.
Out of a total of 114 contestants, Myrie finished in the top five, following Sofia Nikitchuk from Russia, who placed second, Maria Harfanti, from Indonesia, who came in third. 23-year-old Mireia Lalaguna Royo, who represented Spain, was crowned the winner. Myrie also placed third in the talent section of the competition.
Locs are rarely seen on the pageant stage. According to Mic, Zahra Redwood was the first contestant to sport the hairstyle at the Miss Universe pageant in 2007. She was crowned the winner and was the first Rastafarian to enter and win a beauty pageant in Jamaica.
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Image via Miss World website.