“Why are we still fighting this battle?” That was the question posed by Jamaican beauty queen Davina Bennett, in an Instagram post on Monday as she expressed disappointment with the number of natural hair horror stories she receives from her followers on a daily basis.
As you will perhaps recall BUZZ fam, the afro-centric beauty captured the hearts of millions worldwide as she competed for the coveted Miss Universe title back in 2017. At the time, Bennett who sported her afro in all its ‘kinky, coily’ glory on the global stage, had the international media in a frenzy. Allure Magazine, Essence Magazine, Yahoo Lifestyles and People Magazine were just a few of the media outlets who indicated that Bennett and her afro could possibly redefine pageant’s definition of beauty.
“As an ambassador and champion for natural hair, I find it quite upsetting when my followers reach out to me with stories about schools, and business places in Jamaica discriminating against our natural hair.”Davina Bennett
But fast-forward four years and Bennett has admitted that despite leaps made in embracing natural hair beauties globally, a lot remains the same.
“As an ambassador and champion for natural hair, I find it quite upsetting when my followers reach out to me with stories about schools, and business places in Jamaica discriminating against our natural hair,” a part of her IG caption read. “Even here in the US, clients are jumping on the “inclusivity train” but still not taking the time to learn about our hair. Products are often not on sets, the flat iron is the first thing out the bag, and the disgruntled demeanor is next.”
Pointing out that the afro “is not just an off-day hairstyle, it is confident hair”, Bennett reiterated her life-long message that “natural hair is beautiful.”
“Often times I wake in the mornings and I can’t be bothered with my hair, but I still choose to wear it everywhere I go. Why is this? It’s not because I can’t wear anything else, it’s because I owe whatever confidence my Afro projects to the women and men whose hair is like mine—tightly coiled, not loosely curly—that confidence isn’t an aesthetic option,” she shared. “It’s a necessity, as we navigate through these places that we are not often times welcome. An afro is a signifier. On women & men, it invokes the movement, ‘our natural hair is beautiful’!”
Bennett’s post invoked a lot of support from her 139k strong following on Instagram. Many thanked the Nubian Queen for continuing to push against the status quo of beauty. Many even indicated that in a world that is made to suppress persons who deviate from the European ideals of beauty, more women with Bennett’s could positively affect the beauty industry.