Dee-Ann Rodgers made history on Saturday.
Rodgers, 25, is the first black woman to be crowned Miss Universe in Britain since the beginning of the parade in 1952. The newly crowned beauty queen is originally from Anguilla, a British territory, and will then represent Anguilla and the United Kingdom. in the international Miss Universe competition, which will take place in the Philippines in December.
"It's really humiliating and I think it's also a privilege for me to become the first black woman to be crowned Miss Universe in Britain," she told BuzzFeed News. "I think this is the direction in which the contest has been in recent years because Britain is a diverse nation, we are a multicultural society and it is time for that diversity to be seen in a scenario where other black girls and young girls all ethnic groups can see that this is something for everyone, not just some of us. "
Rodgers competed in Newport, Wales, against 40 other women from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland , Wales and overseas British territories.
This happened! My heart is full !! Thank you very much for all your love and support. Hard work continues NOW!
Miss Universe Great Britain 2018-2019 pic.twitter.com/kXkjE5aokP
– Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers (@AsToldBy_Dee) July 16, 2018
Rodgers, who was crowned Miss Anguilla last year, is also a competitive athlete, earning a silver medal in heptathlon at the Central American and Caribbean Games and a bronze medal at the CARIFTA Games.
Prior to her victory, Rodgers told Pageants News that she believes she is the first woman to compete in Miss Universe Great Britain with locs.
"As far as I know, I am the first woman with dreadlocks that crosses the stage of Miss Universe of Great Britain and that is absolutely exciting for me," he said.
Kev Wise / Miss Universe Great Britain
The National Director of Miss Universe Great Britain, Paula Abbandonato, told BuzzFeed that she is "absolutely delighted" with the victory of Rodgers.
"I took on this role in 2008 and I can honestly say that there is no better gift [than] to have our first black winner to celebrate 10 years at work," he said. "Dee-Ann is a true role model for all women of all skin colors and with her dynamism off stage, along with her presence on stage, I truly believe that Britain has a chance at the Miss Universe crown this year. "
Fans congratulated Rodgers on Twitter after she was crowned Miss Universe Great Britain.
"I love when people break the beauty standards, especially my dark-skinned companions, our uniqueness must be celebrated, not simply tolerated," wrote a Twitter user.
I love when people break "beauty standards", especially my dark-skinned companions. Our uniqueness must be celebrated, not merely tolerated.
– preshdidddy. (@preshtawiah) July 15, 2018
Dee-Ann Kentish-Rodgers: The new Miss Universe Great Britain! ?
She is the first black woman to hold the title and will represent Britain internationally on the Miss Universe stage. Congratulations, @AsToldBy_Dee! ?? pic.twitter.com/rIXn3lExPg
– Dionne Grant (@DionneGrant) July 15, 2018
When your friends make history here. ????❤
HISTORY has been made for the hard work of this Queen ???. First BLACK woman to be crowned Miss Universe Great Britain. We are a story making queen. #BlackGirlMagic #blackexcellence https://t.co/aWUfdFVoI2
– O'shane Tomlinson ???? (@Anguilla_Born) July 16, 2018
Congratulations @AsToldBy_Dee. Queennnn !!! #BlackExcellence #BlackGirlMagic ??? pic.twitter.com/9EWaJoXDek
– Lil'Delicate? (@OhSnapitskeiva) July 15, 2018