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UKs first black Miss Universe Great Britain tells us why representation matters

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UK's first black Miss Universe Great Britain tells us why representation matters

(Picture: Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers)

Miss Universe Great Britain is the beauty pageant that decides who will be representing the UK in the Miss Universe contest.

And for the first time in its 66-year history, a black woman has been crowned the winner.

Dee-Ann Kentish-Roger, who has Anguillan ancestry, made history when she was chosen to go on to fight for the title of Miss Universe.

As Dee-Ann prepares for the global beauty competition, she told Metro.co.uk about her whirlwind career and why we need more black women in the beauty industry.

UK's first black Miss Universe Great Britain tells us why representation matters

(Picture: Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers)

How did you get into modelling?

I actually have very little modelling experience. What I have done recently would be my first attempt at modelling but I hope to continue in the industry.

Why is representation so important, especially for black girls?

Representation empowers people to chase dreams otherwise thought to be improbable or impossible. It is an invisible hand that reaches back and pulls up those who feel disenfranchised and rejected.

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Black women must be reinvigorated to believe in the beauty of themselves and their dreams. If winning this title has done that, good.

However, that is simply the first step. Now, they must forge paths for themselves remaining confident in their abilities and not give up despite the obstacles.

UK's first black Miss Universe Great Britain tells us why representation matters

(Picture: Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers)

What struggles did you face at first, whether from family, friends, colleagues?

I have been very fortunate to have had the full support of my friends, family, and colleagues during and in the run-up to the Miss Universe Great Britain 2018 finale.

The struggle every contestant will face is preparing themselves mentally. Most times our insecurities are rooted in disbelief in our own abilities.

Once I overcame that disbelief I was ready to embrace fully the support I had been receiving all along.

What struggles did you face within the modelling world?

At this moment my goal is to get more experience in this industry. I believe the greatest challenge I will face is getting the necessary experience under my belt.

Im sure that the Miss Universe Great Britain title will open doors for me.

UK's first black Miss Universe Great Britain tells us why representation matters

(Picture: Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers)

How do you feel knowing youve broken so many glass ceilings?

It feels amazing to have the privilege of being the first.

You never truly realise what you have done until it is accomplished. Im really humbled by the messages that Ive received in the last three days and I hope that my journey may continue to inspire young women of all ethnicities.

UK's first black Miss Universe Great Britain tells us why representation matters

(Picture: Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers)

What are your future moves?

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Right now my focus is on the Miss Universe pageant this December.

I want the spotlight to turn to the charity A-sisterhood which brings awareness to the victims of Acid Attacks in India, victims of female genital mutilation and provides programmes for women in homeless shelters.

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