Algerian social media users are attacking Miss Algeria 2019 over her dark complexion and features.
Rabat – Khadidja Benhamou, a young woman from Adrar in southern Algeria, has experienced “racist” remarks after she won the title of “Miss Algeria 2019.”
Benhamou won over 16 other finalists in the beauty pageant on Friday, January 4. When asked about the pageant’s selection criteria, Benhamou said that they were based on “benevolence, manners, education, intelligence, and humanitarian spirit.”
Many Algerian commenters on Facebook and Twitter, however, criticized Benhamou’s appearance, mainly her skin color and the judges’ choice.
— 🌻Ranine Chaar🌻 (@RanineChaar) 6 January 2019
“خديجة بن حمو” تتوج بلقب ملكة جمال الجزائر 2019 ..
شاهدوا ماذا قالت بعد الاعلان عن تتويجها باللقب؟! pic.twitter.com/7fDF2AUDNl
— EL BILAD – البلاد (@El_Bilade) 5 January 2019
Other commenters condemned the criticism as racist behavior against the young woman, defending and admiring her unique “Saharan beauty.”
One commenter wrote “[You all] can’t be making fun of her nose, hair and skin complexion and say it’s not racist.”
Another defended Benhamou, arguing that diversity is the essence of beauty. Benhamou is the first dark-skinned woman to win the Algerian beauty pageant.
In an interview with Algerian media at the crowning ceremony, Benhamou said that she hopes to work on humanitarian and charitable projects.
Benhamou will begin a mission to represent her country globally through humanitarian work.