DUBAI: The 69th edition of the Miss World pageant unfolded on Dec. 14 at the ExCeLConvention Centre in London, with Jamaica’s Toni-Ann Singh beating out 110 hopeful contestants to take home the coveted crown during the televised event.
Miss France Ophely Mezino was first runner-up while Miss India Suman Rao was second runner-up. The 23-year-old Singh was crowned by last year’s winner, Vanessa Ponce de Leon of Mexico.
Elis Miele Coehlo of Brazil and Nigeria’s Nyekachi Douglas rounded out the top 5.
The only beauty queen to represent the Arab world at the world’s oldest-running international beauty pageant was Sabrine Mansour, a 24-year-old dental student who hails from the Tunisian coastal city of Mahdia.
Mansour, who was crowned Miss World Tunisia during a grand coronation ceremony held at Tunis’s municipal theatre in February, was part of the top 40 quarter-finalists, securing her spot after placing in the top 10 of the Beauty With a Purpose portion of the competition.
Formerly known as Miss World Scholarship, Beauty with a Purpose is an event that awards the contestant with the most impactful charity project in her respective nation.
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Beauty Queens aren’t what they used to be. We’re more than hair and makeup, our faces, or our bodies. We’re a voice. A force. A modern-day group of women who come from different backgrounds, walks of life, and perspectives. We’ve been through things. Life changing things. We’ve done great things - noticed and unnoticed, quietly and with big megaphones. We’re country girls, service women, models, actresses, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and community activists. We have something to say. We have work to do.. #beautywithapurpose #missworld #keepvoting
For her part, the aspiring dentist has set up a number of health camps in rural areas of Tunisia for those who cannot afford to get oral check ups. Additionally, she works towards raising awareness on several illnesses including diabetes and breast cancer.
The Miss World hopefuls, who hail from 111 countries, spent a month in London competing in events like Sport, Talent and Beauty with a Purpose to secure their spot in the televised finale.
For the talent portion of the competition, the trained flamenco and salsa dancer performed an energetic dance while wearing traditional Tunisian garb complete with the distinct red, felt “chechia.”
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It’s a dream coming true ! @missworld 2019 here i come , i wouldn’t be here without your support , family friends and sponsors ! One thing to say is that we all have the ability to turn dreams into reality through passion, diligence, determination and hard work. My promise to you Tunisia : I ll make you proud
Since the pageant’s inception in 1951, there has only ever been one beauty queen of Arabic descent to take home the prestigious crown. In 1954, Antigone Costanda was the first Miss Egypt candidate to win the title of Miss World.
Meanwhile, Singh’s victory marks Jamaica’s fourth time claiming the title, and the first since 1993.
Notably, for the first time ever, four of the major beauty pageants — Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss USA and Miss America — were won by black women.