Each year Jamaicans gear up for various pageants and competitions which will showcase the island’s best looking women. It is quite expected that whoever is chosen to represent Jamaica, should impress the world and surpass the performance of all the other beautiful women representing their country. But what happens when the crown is off and the reign is over? Only a few past Queens have managed to leave a lasting impression on the country where, though many other pageants have come and gone, they remain a positive icon throughout. Among those is Miss Jamaica World 2005 Terri-Kerelle Reid, who does motivational speaking in secondary schools across the island and is currently working towards establishing a mentorship programme. She participates in various charity events and is also the Charity Ambassador for the Caribbean Classic Golf Invitational foundation, committed to putting computers in Jamaican schools.
Another is Yendi Phillips who gave up her crown at the 2011 Miss Jamaica Universe pageant. She launched The Yendi Phillips Foundation in June 2011 which is aimed at assisting those less fortunate. However, it wasn’t until Miss Jamaica World 2008 that the ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ theme was introduced as a part of the competition. The ladies competed in a fast track competition where they were judged on their involvement in charity prior to the overall competition. Beyond the glam and the prestige which usually comes with a Miss Jamaica title the country would be more appreciative of someone who leaves a meaningful legacy and makes a notable impact. Former beauty pageant winners should act as role models based on their achievements and contributions to the country for years to come, rather than fade away after their reign is over.
Future contestants should hold the Miss Jamaica pageants as more than just opportunities for exposure and fame. We need more beauties beyond pageant purpose.