While the entire world is currently talking about the royal engagement (!!!), on Sunday night, the conversation revolved around a different crown.
The Miss Universe pageant took place in Las Vegas, hosted by Steve Harvey (yes, again—despite his epic 2015 misstep where he announced the wrong winner). This year, out of the 92 contestants, Miss South Africa, a.k.a. Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, took home the crown and promised to use her title to help for those living with HIV/AIDs.
“HIV/AIDS is a very big problem in my country South Africa, so I hope to stand as an advocate for that,” the 22-year-old told reporters before the event, according to TIME. She also plans to empower other women through self-defence skills, a cause that has been particularly close to her heart since she was robbed at gunpoint shortly after winning the Miss South Africa title.
But while there’s no doubt Nel-Peters is a boss, many Twitter users were rooting for another queen bee.
Miss Jamaica, 21-year-old aspiring entrepreneur Davina Bennett, won the crowd’s heart—particularly because she stepped out rocking her natural hair.
— K.A. Holmes (@KimWrites4U) November 27, 2017
Congratulations to our Miss South Africa for winning #MissUniverse. However, I think that the runner up (Miss Jamaica) did an amazing job. She represented her country very well and I am sure there is a little black girl out there with an Afro who knows that she can do it. pic.twitter.com/UxVkhBXWfr
— Ctrl+P (@PumezaZibi) November 27, 2017
#MissUniverse #Jamaica Davina Bennett made every natural hair sistas proud when she showed up on the largest platform judging women’s beauty, rocking her gorgeous Afro hair! pic.twitter.com/Y9VIuEVDKJ
— Tee Tee (@MFEO777) November 27, 2017
— Kevin Nadal, Ph.D. (@kevinnadal) November 27, 2017
“Last night when I saw Davina Bennett, standing on the world stage at Miss Universe, I was beaming with pride. Not only because she is Jamaican, but because she proudly wore a crown that is not man-made (her natural hair),” wrote journalist Anna-Lysa Gayle on her blog. “She gave me hope and I’m sure she gave many others hope also. Especially young girls who do not always see natural hair being embraced on television.” Echoing these sentiments, another social media user perfectly encapsulated why celebrating the beauty of Black women’s natural hair is so important:
My daughter said “Mommy Miss Jamaica hair looks just like mine!”
Yasssss Davina,Yasss!I dont think she understands what she did tonight!
— Jody-Ann Gray (@JodezGray) November 27, 2017
And Bennett did recognize that even though she named as the second runner up (i.e. third place), she still achieved something monumental at this year’s Miss Universe.
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 possibly wish for…. THANK YOU!!! I came, I conquered and if you know me, then you know that’s just another story and you will be seeing a lot more from me To all the queens that represented, congrats and to our new Miss Universe @demileighnp go conquer the world you are indeed a gem! @thedavinabennettfoundation it’s time to lift you up! P.S. Back on Jamaican soil early and bright a mawning!!! #davinabennett #missuniverse #majoraccomplishment #yourjamaicanqueen #theywillrememberme
But let’s be real, titles aside, both these ladies are queens, amiright?