November 19, 1967

On this day, Nigeria’s representative at the 1967 Miss World Contest, 20-year old Miss Rosaline Yinka Balogun, arrived back in Nigeria from London, venue of the contest. Although she arrived to a rousing welcome from her admirers, including her mother, she, however, had some very hard knocks for the organizers of the beauty contest.

Miss Balogun, who was met on arrival by Mr. Ishola Folorunsho, chairman of the committee which organized the Miss Nigeria competition, said that, “No African entrant had a chance.” She said further that, “and it is going to be the same thing in future unless, with her black skin, she has European features – flat back, pointed nose, and is skinny.”

Miss Balogun referred to a popular British fashion model – “Twiggy,” so called because she looked like a twig. “Twiggy,” she said, “despite her lack of flesh, would have walked out with the crown if she had entered, because she was the judges’ idea of a beauty.” She added that she advocated separate continental contests as a basis of final selection because “the conception of beauty of either an Asian or an African is different from that of a European. And it would certainly have helped much if there had been African judges on the panel.”

“There was one spectator among the five judges whom they said was there to appreciate African beauty. She was the East African Princess of Toro. It was either that she could not appreciate African beauty or that her appreciation was irrelevant. The judges thought it was vulgar if you had any flesh on your back, so the more skinny and shapeless you were, the better your chances.


Miss Nigeria arrived

Mungo Park

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