Miss Japan, Miss Israel And Other Black Beauty Queens From Places That Might Surprise You
Japan surprised us all earlier this week when they crowned black and Japanese contestant Ariana Miyamoto as the first black Miss Nagasaki. And Ariana isn’t the only beauty queen proving that black is beautiful all over the world. Check out these black beauty queens from places that might surprise you!
Newly-crowned Miss Nagasaki Ariana Miyamoto is making waves as the first “hāfu” — the Japanese word for Japanese people of mixed heritage — Miss Japan.
But while the reaction to the new beauty queen has been mixed, Japanese filmmaker Megumi Nishikura recently told NBC, “The selection of Ariana Miyamoto as this year’s Miss Universe Japan is a huge step forward in expanding the definition of what it means to be Japanese.”
Yityish “Titi” Aynaw
Israel surprised everyone in 2013 when they crowned Yityish “Titi” Aynaw the first Miss Israel of African descent.
Aynaw, who is an Ethiopian immigrant, says that she’s “not ashamed to say that there is racism in Israel; it’s a problem, but it’s a problem that Israel is working on and it’s something that Israel is trying to fix and it’s actually improving.”
In 2009, France crowned the first Miss France winner to have dual citizenship: French and American. Chloé Mortaud’s American citizenship came from her mother who moved from Mississippi to France. Her father is French.
England crowned their first Miss England in 2009. Notoriously outspoken, Christie caused controversy shortly after being crowned by saying. “You hear black kids say: ‘I can’t do anything with my life. I live in a ghetto.’ I say: ‘Well, get off your backside and get out of it. Stop making your ethnicity an excuse.’
Unfortunately, Christie was later forced to relinquish her crown after assaulting another pageant contestant.
In 1989 Juliette Powell, who is also biracial, became the first black woman to win Miss Canada.
In 2002, Hansson — who is Ghanian-Swedish — became the first black Miss Sweden.
Veronique de la Cruz
Born in Guadeloupe, Vernoique de la Cruz became the first woman of black ancestry to be named Miss France in 1993.
France doubled down on diversity in 2000 and elected the first African Miss France. Sonia Rolland was born in Rwanda, but fled to France with her French father during the Rwandan conflict.
Kenya crowned a Kenyan native, Iman Kerigo, as the first black Miss Norway in 2010.
Laura Beyne was crowned Miss Belgium in 2012. Her father is Belgian and her mother is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Tatiana Silva was technically the first Miss Belgium of African descent when she was crowned in 2005. But Silva, who’s father is from Cape Verde, said that she did not ethnically identify as African even though her father is from the continent.
Janelle Penny Commissong
In 1977, Janelle Commissong, Miss Trinidad, broke boundaries by becoming the first black Miss Universe.