Sanneta Myrie is First Miss World Contestant to Wear Dreadlocks, Finishes in Top 5

Over the weekend, Sanneta Myrie finished in top five of the 65th Miss World Competition while representing Jamaica. While competing, the 24-year-old doctor proudly wore locs, which was a move rarely worn at large pageants.

“I lock my hair because I identify with it,” the 24-year-old told BET. “I am very much rooted in that Afro-centric nature, where we as Jamaicans are rooted. It’s my expression.”

Out of 114 contestants, Myrie finished in the top five, following Sofia Nikitchuk from Russia and Maria Harfanti, from Indonesia; and Mireia Lalaguna Royo, who represented Spain, was crowned the winner. Zahra Redwood, who appeared in the Miss Universe competition in 2007 also wearing locs, had a few things to say about the natural hairstyle.

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“People criticize what they don’t know or understand and develop preconceptions, and so given that, I have gone against what they’ve developed as a stereotyped,” Redwood explained to the Jamaica Observer. “My life has always been rooted in the arts and culture which has significantly impacted me own personal style. So even when I select glam, it has to have an ethnic twist to it.”

Congratulations, Sanneta!