Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers made history on Saturday, July 14 by becoming the first Black woman to win Miss Universe Great Britain. Kentish-Rogers’ competition in the pageant was made up of 40 other women from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British territories.
The 25-year-old pageant queen is from the British territory of Anguilla. She will go on to represent Anguilla and all of Great Britain in the Miss Universe pageant in December in the Philippines.
“It’s really humbling and I think it’s also a privilege for me to become the first black woman who is crowned Miss Universe Great Britain,” she told BuzzFeed News.
“I believe that this is the direction that the pageant has been going in for the last couple of years because Britain is a diverse nation, we are a multicultural society…”Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers
“…and it is time that that diversity is seen on a stage where other young black girls and girls of all ethnicities can see that this is something for everybody not just some of us.”
Being a Black woman is not the only thing that sets Kentish-Rogers apart from the traditional image of a pageant queen. Her dreadlocked hair was a controversial topic of conversation leading up to the pageant. Kentish-Rogers said various people did ask her if she’d be changing her hair before the pageant, but she chose not to.
“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,” said the newly crowned queen to Pageant News.
I am so incredibly lucky to have an influx of support from all across the globe right now. I am so grateful and blessed! Thank you everyone for believing in me!!! ✨#MissUniverseGreatBritain pic.twitter.com/vQmbZh9b9V
— Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers (@AsToldBy_Dee) July 17, 2018
Kentish-Rogers is also a competitive athlete. She won a silver medal in the heptathlon in the Central American and Caribbean Games and a bronze medal in the CARIFTA Games. This may not be the kind of career you’d expect for a Miss Universe contestant, but it’s just another way in which in which Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers represents the underrepresented girls in her arena.