Miss Arecibo and Miss Naranjito are the Touch of Diversity We Need for Miss Puerto Rico

We’re back at it again with the Miss Universe Puerto Rico pageant. The new contestants for the 2018 competition were just announced recently, and at first, it had felt like the same old, same old until two contestants shined their own light.

Miss Naranjito was the first one to draw my attention because, even though I’ve never been one to really pay attention to the Miss Puerto Rico pageant, I can’t for the life of me recall ever having seen a woman competing without long hair. Usually, that’s the norm for a beauty contestant. Long luscious locks are usually looked at as the epitome of female beauty, so to see this breakthrough for beauty standards on the island is very refreshing.

The second one that caught my attention was definitely Miss Arecibo. I had given up after Naranjito because they all looked the same to me, yet this isn’t to belittle their beauty. They are all without a doubt gorgeous, but there are times when you want to see someone different. The Miss Puerto Rico pageant always seemed to follow a formula, but with its new team selecting the newest contestants since Desiree Lowry stepped down, it is clear that we’re finally getting different. Miss Arecibo has a gorgeous head of hair with unapologetic curls, and I am living for this!

Growing up, I remember having thought of myself as less than because of my curly hair. Everywhere I looked, all the beautiful women had long, straight hair. My mother would straighten my hair for important events such as graduations, birthdays, and yearbook pictures. If I ever wear my hair naturally, I am messy, and I am not putting too much time and effort into my appearance. This is why Miss Arecibo for me is my top choice if there ever was one. In an afro-Caribbean island like Puerto Rico, the features that are placed in our genetics because of our afro-descendance is often overlooked and ignored. Curly hair isn’t always seen as the ideal concept of beauty, but times are changing, and I am here for it.

I would like to stress it out once more. All these women are beautiful, and it is without regret to say that Puerto Rico gives life to beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, and colors. After last year, Miss Carolina had been a beacon of hope for me and many others. After having seen her impact, even if she didn’t win, it makes me happy to see that there is more of that small seed she planted in the competition by being a participant. This year seems to be embracing that with women of various skin tones, hair textures, and body types. This is why for the first time I am looking forward to seeing how this season goes.

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3, & 4