Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers Is The First Black Woman To Win Miss Universe Great Britain

July 18, 2018  |  

Portrait of Dee-Ann Kentish Rogers as shared on her Twitter account (@AsToldBy_Dee)

On Sunday, Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers made history when she was crowned Miss Universe Great Britain. She is the first black woman to win that competition since the pageant began in 1952. This also means she will be the first black woman to represent the beauty and brains of Great Britain in the upcoming Miss Universe competition.

Being that this is another #BlackGirlMagic first, she of course, has received an overwhelming amount of shout-outs from fellow black sistren, along with women from all over the world.

So yesterday, Kentish-Rogers expressed that all of the support she has received has been like a “whirlwind.” She thanked everyone who helped her secure the crown, and she touched on how her win has personally effected others.

“It has been a whirlwind two days since being crowned Miss Universe Great Britain 2018. I am privileged to have been chosen from a concentration of talented, ambitious, beautiful and funny women! I am humbled and truly uplifted by those who are embracing my rewarding experience and success as their own,” she wrote on Instagram.

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It has been a whirlwind two days since being crowned Miss Universe Great Britain 2018. I am privileged to have been chosen from a concentration of talented, ambitious, beautiful and funny women! I am humbled and truly uplifted by those who are embracing my rewarding experience and success as their own. I am deeply grateful for the financial donations of many to the A-sisterhood charity. I am thankful for the sponsors of my pageant sisters 2018, my own and especially @doyen_style @carajewellers @justboutique_nw for believing in this pageant and supporting the girls every step of the way. It is an absolute honour to carry the British flag 🇬🇧 on to the Miss Universe pageant later this year. @gracielevy my pageant coach at @lsp_london – thank you for preparing me for this weekend! The hours we spent pouring over my interview, platform, poise and walk gave me a solid foundation to stand on this past Saturday! Paula – our director- we owe you the greatest respect and appreciation for your unwavering belief that each one of us was capable of capturing the crown. @missuniversegreatbritain @annamariaburdzy thank you for representing class, grace and intelligence during your reign and for inspiring me to enter this pageant system. And to the previous titleholders of Miss Universe Great Britain who i met on Saturday- @taravaitiere @nenafrance @jaimeleefaulkner – thank you for warmly embracing me into the fold like a newly born lamb. 💕😂. To my cherished friends, family and my manager Kerith, thank you for your unwavering support!!🇬🇧💕

A post shared by Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers (@astoldby_dee) on

Kentish-Rogers is a native of Anguilla, a territory of Great Britain. The 25-year-old won the Miss Anguilla crown last year, which qualified her to compete in the Miss Universe Great Britain competition this year.

But pageantry wasn’t her thing at first.

Her dream was to compete in the Olympic heptathlon for Great Britain. This type of competition is specifically for women athletes, and the winner is determined by her total score from seven different track-and-field events. She competed twice in the Commonwealth Games, but due to a knee injury, Kentish-Rogers had to re-imagine what her professional future would look like.

According to BBC News, Kentish-Rogers believes that pageantry is very similar to reaching for an Olympic medal. She even says that her beauty competition experience focuses more on the mind.

“They’re very similar, but being in a pageant you have to undergo a kind of surgical examination of yourself, your ambitions, things that people don’t do until they’re very, very old.

“Most of the preparation for the Commonwealth Games is done on the track… but in pageantry, the mind is the focal point, and the mind is I think the hardest muscle to master,” she said.

Now that she has shown what her mind can do, she is looking forward to using all the excitement around her win as a way to inspire women of color in the UK.

“The buzz that’s surrounding my victory in Miss Universe Great Britain is the first indication as to why it’s so important today,” she told BBC News.

“If I can say that to a young black girl, an Asian girl, any girl of any ethnicity in the United Kingdom, especially in this post-Brexit, post-Windrush era, then I would be ecstatic because I would have done my job.”

Renese spends her early mornings writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog. Follow Renese on Twitter: @reneseford

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