Some Latinos Expressed Racist Comments Over Miss Puerto Rico Losing Miss Universe Crown To Miss South Africa
Whenever pageants first began, the winners have typically been white and blonde. Societal beauty standards have only recently begun to change slightly favoring women of different body sizes and skin colors. That is why it’s so incredibly powerful and refreshing (not to mention historic) to see the top pageant crowns bestowed upon Black women. However, not everyone is accepting of this new, more inclusive pageant world.
On Saturday, Toni-Ann Singh, Miss Jamaica, won the Miss World pageant. The week before that Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi, won the title of Miss Universe meaning that the five top pageant titles belong to Black women.
This historic trend began to take shape earlier this year when Miss USA Chelsie Kryst, Miss Teen USA Kaleigh Garris, and Miss America Nia Franklin won their respective pageants, putting a much-needed cultural shift on the center stage.
After her win, Singh tweeted, “To that little girl in St. Thomas, Jamaica and all the girls around the world – please believe in yourself. Please know that you are worthy and capable of achieving your dreams. This crown is not mine, but yours. You have a PURPOSE.”
However, last week when Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi, won the title of Miss Universe against the runner up, Miss Puerto Rico, some Latinos showed their true racist colors.
Some Latinos on social media were clearly cheering on Miss Puerto Rico, Madison Anderson, and expressed some racist and mean comments after she lost.
The firestorm began when the women were asked the final question by host Steve Harvey.
They were asked, “What is the most important thing we should teach young girls today?” Anderson gave a pretty mediocre response, saying, “In a world where many people wear masks, it’s such a beautiful thing to see an authentic soul.”
Tunzi’s response, in comparison, was beautiful and eloquently stated.
“I think one of the most important things we should be teaching young girls today is leadership,” she said. “It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time – not because we don’t want to, but because of what society has labeled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world, and that we should be given every opportunity. And that is what we should be teaching these young girls – to take up space. Nothing as important as taking up space in society.”
That response ended up winning her the crown.
One of those that didn’t like that Tunzi won over Anderson was journalist Maria Celeste.
Celeste said on her show “Al Rojo Vivo,” according to Noticel, that when it comes down to it, these pageants should remain beauty pageants and not based on a contestant’s IQ level. Celeste tried to back peddle on her Instagram page by saying, “Great job Miss Puerto Rico – you were my candidate, but the jury’s composition always plays an important role in the final result, and without a doubt, the new Miss Universe is very pretty too.”
Yamilet González, a House of Representatives candidate for the pro-statehood New Progressive Party in Puerto Rico, also said negative things about Tunzi.
In a video post on social media, González was speaking to a man about the pageant and said, among other disrespectful things, Tunzi shouldn’t have been a part of the show because of her looks.
Jose Pastrana, a Supervisor de Zona de Educación Especial in Puerto Rico is also coming under fire for his racist comments against Tunzi that he posted on Facebook.
The Department of Education in Puerto Rico is investigating Pastrana’s comments. They released the statement saying, “The expressions made through personal social networks and after hours of work of the employee José Pastrana do not represent at all the values and principles that we instill through the Department of Education.”
A feminist organization that fights against anti-Black violence said the type of racism we’re seeing in the aftermath of Miss Puerto Rico losing to a Black woman is a racism that exists every day on the island and everywhere.
“There is nothing like a Miss Universe pageant to uncover the disgusting racism that is lived in Puerto Rico on a daily basis. We are just returning home and we encounter racial hatred and anti-black violence. From this we will continue to express ourselves later but, for now, we want to show our repudiation, anger, and outrage at the barbarities, insults and extreme violence that have been expressed by social networks. That violence IS THE SAME as Trump’s.”