Monday, January 9, 2012
Miss Belgium 2012 is Black
Belgium elected its second black miss Belgium. The first was Tatiana Silva, Miss Belgium 2005, who was of Cape Verdean origin. This time its Laura Beyne, a 19 year old girl from Brussels. Her father is Belgian, her mother Congolese. She is perfectly bilingual and thus represents both major linguistic communities of Belgium.
Since 2000 several women of African origin were elected miss in their respective countries. They are nearly all mixed race. Below I will list the ones I know about.
Former Misses of African origin in other European Countries
Sonia Rolland, Born on the 11th of February in Kigali, Rwanda, she is a French actress. She was elected Miss France in the year 2000. Her father is French, her mother Rwandan.
Chloé Mortaud (September 19, 1989, born in Lisieux, Calvados) is a French beauty pageant contestant who won Miss France 2009. She represented the Albigeois-Midi-Pyrénées, a southwest region of France, and became the first winner of the Miss France beauty pageant to have dual citizenship, French and American. Mortaud received US citizenship through her mother, an African American who emigrated from Mississippi to France, and has a grandmother who lives in Los Angeles. Her father is French.
Whitney Toyloy (21. Juli 1990 in Zürich) would not always be perceived as black. She is Miss Switzerland 2009 and has a Multi-racial background (her ancestors trace their roots from the United States, China, Panama and Switzerland). I think her father is mixed race African-American and the mother white Swiss. She could pass for black, Latina, white, Arabic, Jewish, South Asian, …
Malou Hansson, (born in 1983 in Järfälla, Uppland, Sweden) served as Miss Sweden in 2002. She was the first black woman to hold this beauty pageant title.
Although England has a large black community I only know of one Miss England ever, not only very recently but her story has a rather bad ending. Rachel Christie (born c. 1988) is a British beauty pageant contestant and athlete who was briefly Miss England 2009, and the first black mixed race woman to hold the title. Unfortunately in the early hours of 2 November 2009, Christie was arrested on suspicion of assaulting Miss Manchester Sara Beverley Jones at a Manchester nightclub. She subsequently announced her withdrawal from the Miss World competition and relinquished her Miss England crown. The crown was passed on to the runner-up in the 2009 pageant, Katrina Hodge.
Iman Kerigo, crowned Miss Norway in 2011. She was born in Kenia, raised in Norway.
Just as Witney Toyloy, Sonja Silva (Rotterdam, 1 februari 1977) has a very international and multiracial appearance. I don’t know what her roots are but as far as I know she is the only Miss Netherlands who has somehow Afro roots. Her name sounds Portuguese and I thus think she may have Cape Verdean roots.
More information on these beauty pageants or other European misses of African descent is more than welcome.