On Sunday night in Miami, Paulina Vega — the 22-year-old student of business administration better known as Miss Colombia — was crowned Miss Universe. While Vega’s win was celebrated, many fans in the audience weren’t thrilled when Miss Jamaica came in fourth. In fact, an audible portion of the audience could be heard booing as the judges announced their decision.
“It will be a dream come true to represent the woman of today,” Miss Columbia toldthe Associated Press last week. “A woman that not only cares about being beautiful and being glamorous, but also cares about being a professional, intelligent, hard-working person.”
During the Q&A portion of the competition, Vega impressed the judges when asked what she thinks women can learn from men. “I believe there’s still men that do believe in equality,” she said through a translator. “I believe that’s what women should learn from men.”
However, her answers were lost in translation, and seem to make no sense to many watching throughout the globe.
The consensus on social media: Fennell was robbed of the title.
— Samy Nemir Olivares (@Samynemir) January 26, 2015
“Yow #MissJamaica shoulda been #MissUniverse2015 STILL!,” one fan of Fennell tweeted, while another added, “Jamaica should’ve got 2nd runner up at least. Like c’mon now, she was the best there! smh #MissUniverse2015.”
But whatever the reason for the perceived slight, it was clear that a beauty pageant owned by Donald Trump — the man who invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the 2013 Miss Universe — had not broken ground when crowning its queen. Some said the defeat was due to Fennell’s race. This year, contestants from 88 countries vie for the Miss Universe title, first awarded in 1952, but onlyfour black women have won.
The Jamaica affair was not the only controversy to roil Miss Universe this year. Just last week, Miss Lebanon faced criticism when she appeared in a photo with Miss Israel.
Over the past decade, the Miss Universe pageant seem to a political tool for the Trump organization, as winners reflect the current political landscape of the world, rather than a fair outcome for contestants participating.
Contributors: Justin Mayer|Sierra Marquina