Belize model Destiny Wagner, 25, made history last weekend after being crowned Miss Earth 2021. In addition to bringing the first major international crown to the Caribbean country, she also broke a 19-year record without a Black woman winner.
Before her, the last Black woman to be crowned in the competition was Kenya’s Winfred Omwakwe in 2002.
The Miss Earth 2021 crown comes after a succession of Black queens recently in major nternational beauty contests. At the end of 2019, South African Zozibini Tunzi and JamaicanToni-Ann Singh won, respectively, the Miss Universe and the Miss World. Ghanaian-born American Abena Appiah won Miss Grand International earlier this year.
“I am very excited to begin my journey as Miss Earth 2021 and promise to do my best to fulfil my reign with gratitude and love,” Wagner posted on her social networks after the announcement.
Even the country’s Prime Minister Johnny Briceño mentioned Wagner’s victory on social media.
“I congratulate Ms. Destiny Wagner on winning Miss Earth 2021. We look forward to your stellar representation of our beautiful country over the next year,” he posted.
Wagner succeeds American Lindsey Coffey on the throne, elected in 2020 also through an online competition. The format, adopted for the second consecutive year, was the solution adopted by the organization, while still navigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Miss Earth is known for having the environment at the forefront. Candidates are usually linked to sustainability practices and the winner supports and promotes causes, in addition to ecotourism, around the world.
Born in 1996, Wagner is a an author, poet, television presenter. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Pace University in New York.
She published her first book in New York City entitled ”So You Need Advice” which discussed several issues including sex, love, school, and work that women experience that are frequently considered taboo. After the success of her first book, she knew that she wanted to use her voice to not only uplift others but to amplify their voice. During the pandemic, Destiny hosted virtual poetry nights on her Instagram live @Destinyewagner. People from all over the world tuned in and participated to showcase their great talent and love for poetry.