EntertainmentJanelle Commissiong, the first BLACK WINNER of Miss UNIVERSE in 1977 

Janelle Commissiong, the first BLACK WINNER of Miss UNIVERSE in 1977 

The stories of successful Black people are rarely overheard by the Democrats stating that they are oppressed. Truth be told, the story of Janelle Commissiong is one that should be remembered by Americans. She won the Miss Universe category, in 1977, back when people can literally openly make racist remarks like White women are prettier than others. 

Trinidad Express states that in the morning of July 15, 1977 brought a wave of excitement to Trinbagonians, still reveling in Hasely Crawford’s Olympic gold medal triumph in 1976. They awoke to the remarkable news that their very own Janelle “Penny” Commissiong is now Miss Universe.

Penny’s victory was not only a historic moment for Caribbean women in the Miss Universe competition, but it shattered racial stereotypes. This is due to her being the first black woman to wear the crown. Following that, this groundbreaking achievement marks a significant milestone in the beauty industry. 

Her win redefines the standards of beauty and amplifies the empowering mantra, “Black is beautiful.” 

The internet remembers Ms Janelle Commissiong with fond memories

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One YouTube comment states that she was one of the only three people who are Black to ever win the vote for Miss Photogenic. The user adds that she was beautiful then, and she still is beautiful now. The other models to win the photogenic category are Margaret Hill and Ava Burke. 

Another YouTuber states that they were only children when she won the competition. However, the impact that had throughout their life is remarkable as a non-White person can actually win a beauty competition. It is a stark contrast to the diverse nature we have today as now, even plus size models are working for Calvin Klein. 

Today, we are fortunate enough to have a more accepting society than it previously was. According to Elle magazine, in 2019, there were five Black women winning five major beauty competitions in the United States. 

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Photo above is from Wikipedia

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