Bennett, the second runner-up for Miss Universe, not only showed off her crowning Afro glory, but did so with grace, intelligence, and confidence.
Seeing women of color compete in pageants while rocking their natural hair is an empowering deviation from seeing the blown-out, straighter hairstyles contestants traditionally wear.
Jamaica’s loss made several Twitter users call out the beauty pageant.
“I am happy for Miss #SouthAfrica but let’s be honest, the answers given by Miss #Jamaica were beyond perfect. It’s time for the #MissUniverse pageant organisers to introspect and reevaluate their judging criteria,” said a Twitter user.
“GOOD JOB #Jamaica. Saddens me that you didn’t become the Miss Universe because you deserve it. Good job #SouthAfrica though #MissUniverse” added another. “Jamaica was robbed. A LITERAL goddess,” said another.
“Dear black, natural hair girls, Never ever be content with someone’s definition of you! Don’t ever have the desire to FIT IN ! Step into your greatness UNAPOLOGETICALLY! You can do this! Get to work! The world awaits you! #MissUniverse #Jamaica.”
Bennett glowed as she competed against 91 other contestants and steadily climbed her way to the top three.
During the pageant, she was asked what quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that quality to your time as Miss Universe.
Bennett responded, “The quality I am most proud of is my drive, my determination. I am the founder of a foundation that spreads awareness for the deaf community, and this platform is such a great platform to just let persons know that these persons need opportunities and need equal opportunities and goals in our society. So Miss Universe competition will be the platform for me to use this foundation to spread awareness for all the deaf people around.”
After the competition, the 23-year-old took to Instagram to express gratitude for all the support she received.
“I did not win but I got what I was seeking. I won the hearts of many, I got to highlight Deaf awareness, I stand as the first afro queen to have made it thus far, I represented my little island and I received allll the love one could possible wish for.”