The first black Miss GB is a former University of Birmingham student
She’s the first black woman to be crowned Miss Universe Great Britain in the competition’s 66 year history
Dee-Ann Kentish Rogers has been crowned 2018-19's Miss GB, and is the first black woman to be awarded the title. The former UoB Law student praised the changing nature of the competition, stating "the pageant is moving forward. It's embracing women of all different cultures, of all different ages."
The pageant has had a controversial history, regarding both its title and its impact on the women involved. The title has changed throughout its 66 year history, with England, Scotland, and Wales holding separate competitions before a combined pageant being held in 1991. In 2008 the title was changed back to Miss Universe Great Britain, a title it still holds today.
Regarding the impact on women within the pageant, Dee-Ann believes the changing nature of the pageant means women's self-confidence is encouraged. Speaking to BBC News, Dee-Ann said "Pageantry has been getting a lot of backlash because of people thinking it's very archaic, but pageantry for me has given me a platform, given me a voice, given me the opportunity to empower myself.
"One of the biggest problems that women have in the 21st century is having people listen to them. We have had to be very creative in making a space for ourselves."
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Following on from her Law degree from the University of Birmingham, Dee-Ann passed her exams to become a barrister this year, and will qualify this July.
Speaking to Pageants News, Dee-Ann discussed being the first winner with dreadlocks, "To my knowledge, I am the first dreadlocked woman to walk across a Miss Universe Great Britain stage and that is absolutely most exciting to me."
Feature image: www.kevwise.com