|Posted by Rujizzle on March 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM|
In this entry, I will love to tell you all why I love this woman, Ms. Leila Lopes. She exudes many wonderful qualities and has the qualities of a Phenomenal Woman as described in Dr. Maya Angelou's poem.
Photo: tweet by Miss Universe, Leila Lopes
Leila Lopes is the reigning Miss Universe 2011-2012, and was Miss Angola UK 2010 and Miss Angola 2011. If you will like to know more about her, read this biography I wrote on my second website few days after she was crowned Miss Universe 2011. Leila is the 2nd Black African to be crowned Miss Universe, 1st was Mpule Kwelagobe from Botwswana in 1999; there have been 4 Black women in the Miss Universe pageant's 61-years of existence.
As mentioned above, Leila isn't the first Black woman but she is the only Miss Universe that I have observed since her crowning. Over the past months, she has worked hard and represented herself well with multiple charities, events, fashion shows, etc. She seems to have been working very hard, and I highly admire what she does and the things I read about her in media.
On a more personal note, I do admire Leila more because she is a Black African beauty queen! I have no hesitation to say that because it feels great to see a well-acknowledged titleholder that shares similar ancestry and features as me. I was very happy to see her crowned last year as Miss Universe 2011 because I saw Mama Africa's daughter recognized worldwide, and I thought she carried herself with simplicity, poise, and grace throughout the competition. Although the Miss Universe Organization does work with lots of charities, they have always made it known that they are a pageant that was built on principles based on beauty. That night showed African beauty being recognized, and brought curiousity to those that were not knowledgeable about the country Angola.
I don't know what the judges were looking for in the winner the night of the Miss Universe pageant, but I know Leila must have had the "it" factor in her overall presentation. I know that she must have said or done something right in the private interview session with the judges and other preliminary rounds leading to the pageant. I don't know her personally and cannot speak on behalf of her personality, but from her outwards appearance, she exudes beautiful traits of one full of compassion.
In most of my posts, I stress on having mentors and role models, but it is okay to be a "first" in whatever endeavor one wishes to embark on. Leila being crowned was a remarkable example of the necessity of having a role model. I cannot give any numbers but I know that she made some African girls and women feel more beautiful and made them know that no matter what continent they represent or how dark their complexion may be, they can also be Miss Universe, a titleholder, or an overall winner in anything.
Throughout the viewing of the pageant, I noticed something very remarkable about the African community. I realized how everyone put their differences aside and supported Leila as a favorite contestant, even though she was not representing their nations. The multiple supportive facebook comments and tweets that I read showed that Leila was representing Africa as a whole, and we were all one people. I was truly impressed and grateful by the togetherness that it brought Africans worldwide!
Observing the positive impact that Leila being Miss Universe 2011 has made, I really hope she will be an influence to having all African nations represented at the upcoming Miss Universe pageant. Specifically, I will like to see more Black African women crowned Miss Universe, from one of the 56 African nations. Black African women are just as beautiful as the many representatives from other descents and continents. A Miss Universe titleholder cannot be representative of all girls and women, but consistent diversity in the titleholder will be remarkable and progressive.
Leila represents beautiful girls and women of the world. Leila represents elegant girls and women of Africa. Leila represents the fabulous diverse Black women globally. Leila is the girl next door, she is me, she is you, she is us. Leila represents girls and women of the Universe!
Next 3 photoes are of Leila, before becoming Miss Universe 2011
Photo: Leila with her (unstraightened) natural hair
Leila Lopes. Phenomenal Woman, that's her.