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Seven to vie for Miss SVG 2017 crown

Seven to vie for Miss SVG 2017 crown


Contestants in this year’s Miss St Vincent and the Grenadines (Miss SVG) beauty pageant met with members of the media at the Young Island Resort last Saturday.

This year, the contestants have chosen a topic to focus on as part of the first ever Miss SVG Eastern Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC) Empowerment Campaign and during Saturday’s meet, the seven spoke about their individual topics.

The contestants in this year’s pageant are Miss Quick Cash Corporation Bryanna Hadaway, Miss Agricultural Input Warehouse Brittney Oliver, Miss Jergens Christal Oliver, Miss Kendra’s Aluminum Products Ltd Darisean LaBorde, Miss Mustique Company Ltd Nicolleen Lewis, Miss FLOW Jimelle Roberts and Miss Metrocint General Insurance Company Ltd LaDonna Yorke.

Bryanna, whose empowerment topic is “Feminism is for everyone,” told SEARCHLIGHT she believes a feminist is some who supports the social, political and economic equality of both sexes.

“So, I am pro woman and I am pro guy,” said Bryanna, who believes there is a gender gap in SVG.

“Women are held back in health, politics, survival, wages and education, so through this campaign I am hoping to narrow the gap. We can all be feminists — feminism starts with you,” she added.

Another contestant, Brittney, has chosen to speak out about incest. She said she chose the topic as she wants to be a voice for persons who are afraid to stand up and speak out on the problem.

Christal is seeking to empower women who want to be natural, so she is addressing “The negativity that may be associated with wearing your afro textured hair in its most natural state.

“I have chosen this because it is something that is most personal to me. A woman should not be made to feel inferior or not good enough simply because of the hair she wears on her head,” said Christal, who wears her hair naturally.

Describing hairstyles as a personal choice and noting that the most important thing is to be “comfortable in your skin, comfortable in your hair and confident as confidence is beautiful”.

Darisean has chosen the topic, “Woman, a woman’s biggest critic”. She explained that she chose this topic because she sees it as an ongoing issue that is hardly spoken about.

She said that “over the years we have all seen the brutal comments and criticisms” that the Miss SVG contestants received — “some too embarrassing to mention”. Darisean pointed to criticism she had attracted since entering the pageant, adding that women need to be more sensitive to each other’s feelings.

“Not that we all should like each other, but we should try to respect each other’s feelings,” the Chateaubelair resident added.

Fancy resident Nicolleen, who was once a resident of the Guadalupe Home for Girls, is encouraging persons to realize “that circumstances do not make me who I am”.

“Oftentimes we encounter situations where we have been judged and criticized and this should not be,” Nicolleen told SEARCHLIGHT. “Your circumstances are just mere [illusions] of who you are.

“This does not determine what you can achieve or who you are as a person, so I am encouraging the public to help motivate, strengthen and encourage others, yourselves as one community of SVG to be a better society.”

Jimelle has chosen the topic, “The importance of education. The educator said that in her profession, she is exposed to the raw talent that local girls possess, but unfortunately, because of outside forces, they are sometimes unable to reach their pinacle.

“I am here to empower them. I am here to be the change I want to see in society and I strongly believe if we educate a woman, we educate a generation,” said Jimelle, who promised a great show on competition night.

LaDonna said the one issue that she holds close is “emotional abuse”. In her opinion, when persons hear the word abuse, it is taken as referring only to physical hurt.

“But what about the verbal assault, the constant intimidation, humiliation and the bringing down of others. It is our duty to uplift and empower. I was once told that my actions bring consequences, but I am telling you that your words also bring consequences, so I am begging you to think before you speak,” advised LaDonna.

The empowerment campaign is being supported by the ECGC, which has given EC$30,000 to the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC).

Persons are being encouraged to follow the empowerment campaign by using the hashtags #ecgcempowerment and #misssvg2017.

The Miss SVG show, which will see the winner walk away with a university scholarship, will be held at Carnival City, Victoria Park, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 3.