Jamaica Gleaner / Miss Universe Jamaica 2017, Davina Bennett, made Jamaica proud when she placed third in the Miss Universe Pageant which took place last Sunday in Las Vegas. The Jamaican queen went against the status quo and created history by being the first contestant to make it so far in the competition with an Afro.
During a press conference held upon her arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport last Tuesday, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange praised Bennett on portraying authentic natural beauty throughout the competition. “You are not just a natural beauty, but a woman of substance. I want you to continue to inspire women to embrace their natural beauty,” said Grange.
Bennett was elated as she shared her experience in the competition with Flair , “This journey was hard. There was a lot of gym time that I had to put in, along with dieting, speech training, training with Yendi in terms of stage presentation and runway – a lot of persons came on board. The whole experience was revamping myself to fit the part of a queen,” explained Bennett in her first interview.
The world saw a phenomenal beauty that emanated confidence. However, Bennett stated that was not the case. “Whenever I am on stage, I put on a mask. A lot of the tips people usually give on how to get over the nerves, did not work for me. I see and observe everything. I just said to myself, ‘this is it and might as well just suck it up and do what I need to do and not focus on me being nervous and someone that is shy’, because I am,” she laughed.
Bennett received high praises for wearing her afro on the international stage, and now stands as someone who has changed the standard of beauty for many. “This is something I am so thankful for. I don’t look at the fact that I didn’t win, I look at the things I came out victorious with. My hair should not be a barrier from succeeding in the pageant. I am happy that I made the decision to follow my mind,” said Bennett.
While in Vegas, Bennett treated hair with ORS Olive Oil which is one of the sponsors for Miss Universe. “They supplied me with an entire natural line which is what I used for the entire competition. I just washed and oiled my hair with the products which kept it very moist. It was really cold there and my hair managed to keep the curls intact,” said Bennett.
Coach Karl Williams from Uzuri International Designs owners of the Miss Jamaica Universe franchise, beamed with pride as he congratulated Bennett on her success in the competition.” A huge congratulation to Bennett for doing an amazing job and turning the auditorium upside down,” said Williams.
Bennett was met at the airport by Sales and Marketing manager of Kingston Industrial Garage Judith Denton with her Subaru XV. Denton thought Bennett was amazing from seeing her performance in the local pageant. “It was such a pleasure being with her on her journey to the crown,” said Denton.
Bennett was paired with the Subaru XV because it has the same striking features and sense of fun and adventure.
Many will agree that Davina Bennett represented Jamaica superbly and is an extraordinary woman of substance and beauty.