Rastafarians embrace first beauty queen
April 5, 2007
Rastafarians embrace first beauty queen


Jamaica – Rastafarians have enthusiastically embraced the crowning of the first Rastafarian Miss Jamaica Universe 2007, Zahra Redwood, in apparent contradiction of their well-known anti-beauty pageant stance.

Redwood, 25, strutted the Miss Jamaica Universe stage last Sunday, her dreadlocks rolled into a neat ‘bun’ to the back of her head, to beat out 15 other beautiful Jamaicans for the coveted title, grabbing sectional prizes for ‘most aware’ and ‘most congenial’ contestant at the same time.{{more}}

“I think the event speaks to the redefinition of the concept of beauty, which speaks to the idea of a redefinition of self and identity and so on,” Rastafaran poet Yasus Afari told the Sunday Observer.

“It is a great thing that a big-lip, black, picky picky natty head woman should a win a beauty contest,” said Mutabaruka, the outspoken dub poet and entertainer. “So, it jus’ show a level of change weh a tek place inna di mind and consciousness of whosoever a dweet, yuh nuh.”

Rastafarians have traditionally opposed beauty contests, describing them as akin to a cattle shows and that such pageants promoted a “Eurocentric perspective of the concept of beauty”.