JAMAICA: No bleachers for Black History Month pageant

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JAMAICA STAR: Alexander Brown, the organiser of the Miss Black History Month Talent and Pageant Show, says that no ‘bleachers’ will be considered for entry.

Brown said that hosting the event for the past two decades is of great importance due to the phenomenon of skin bleaching which is popular in the island.

“I think they [women between 17 and 31] should enter to gain some self-esteem and stop bleach, so they can send a message. I feel very bad when I see a black girl bleach and get so brown, that spoils her skin tone. I feel very bad about it, I don’t see the sense [in bleaching]. It is a big, big problem [because] I never grow up and use nothing on my face yet, it’s just couple years now I see most of these places selling bleaching cream and people using it to spoil up them skin tone,” he said. While potential contestants can be light-skinned, bleachers are not welcome. Brown said that two women were turned away last week as their knuckles were bleached. Brown said that the pageant, which is seeking 20 contestants, is aimed at testing the women’s cultural aptitude.

“It’s not about who is brown or has nice dark skin or if you have straight nose or tall legs. We’ll be asking some general knowledge questions that you to do research to get the answer. Questions like ‘Who is a Jamaica’s first lady of comedy?’ or ‘Where is Liberty Hall located?’. It’s just questions like those. It’s not beauty, it’s culture. Embrace your culture,” explained Brown.

Unlike most beauty pageants where contestants are expected to wear an elegant evening gown as well as bikinis, Brown said contestants will wear African print dresses and will not flaunt their physiques in beach apparel.

The coronation will be streamed virtually from the Jamaica Conference Centre on February 26. Since the onset of the novel coronavirus, the competition had to shift to an online modality. Past winners include communications consultant Krystal Tomlinson.

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