Jamaican model crowned Miss World 2019
A Jamaican model who was crowned Miss World on Saturday has said her new platform is about “more than beauty”.
Toni-Ann Singh, 23, said the charity work done by winners of the beauty pageant is “the biggest part of the competition”.
Winners of the global competition have been travelling the world helping deprived communities with the charity Beauty With A Purpose since it was set up in 1971.
The charity has helped to raise over a billion dollars for causes such as treating leprosy in Brazil and providing sanitary towels in deprived Indian and African communities.
Wearing her Miss World sash and tiara, Miss Singh told the PA news agency: “I feel like I’m dreaming.”
On criticisms some think the competition is outdated, she said: “As somebody that has first-hand experience (of Miss World), the biggest part of the competition is Beauty With A Purpose, to get things done.
“I understand there’s criticism, and I’m willing to have a conversation with anyone who would like to.
“This platform is about more than beauty.”
In the three weeks leading up to the final, contestants for Miss World 2019 also competed in talent competitions, such as singing, sports, and engaging with fans on social media.
At the final on Saturday, Miss Singh performed I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston on stage, wearing a glittery white ball gown at the Exhibition Centre London (ExCeL).
The show was hosted by singer Peter Andre and winner of Miss World 2013, Megan Young.
Each representative took it in turns to dance centre stage in glittering outfits, dresses and headwear representing their country.
A panel of judges including previous winners, fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, TV presenter Piers Morgan and chairwoman of Miss World, Julia Morley, chose Miss Singh as winner.
The event also featured performances by Andre, who sang Mysterious Girl as the contestants danced around him wearing skintight silver bodysuits, and Lulu who sang her hit single Shout, and Run Run Rudolph.
Bhasha Mukherjee, who made history on August 1 when she became the first British Asian woman to win Miss England, was one of the 111 contestants at the event.
Less than 12 hours after winning her English title, she started her new job as a junior doctor at the Pilgrim Hopsital in Boston, Lincolnshire.
Miss Mukherjee came to England from India aged nine with her parents.
The 23-year-old, who studied at Nottingham University, was supporting Diabetes UK as her Beauty With A Purpose Project after revealing her father almost became blind after suffering with the disease.