Miss Universe Jamaica Organization defends Annie Palmer costume

Miss Universe Jamaica Organization defends Annie Palmer costume

Sunday, December 08, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Miss Universe Jamaica Organization has defended the 'Annie Palmer' theme choice for this year's national costume at the Miss Universe pageant, saying it was intended to lead to “teachable moments” for young people.

The organisation's response comes after social media users yesterday criticised the 'Annie Palmer- Legend of Rose Hall' costume, which was used to represent the country during the national costume competition of the Miss Universe pageant.

Social media users argued that the costume was in bad taste as it glorified a negative aspect of the country's history.

However, in a statement published on social media earlier today, the organisation said this was not its intention.

“With this year's costume, we never sought to glorify slavery, nor promote witchcraft or any of the folk tales Annie Palmer has been accused of, instead, what we sought to do, as have the pantomimes, books and articles written about her, was to just tell the story of another part of Jamaican history without endorsing, glorifying or celebrating her deeds or the atrocities of slavery,” the statement read.

The organisation said it was meant to inspire conversations which would lead to teachable moments for some young people, “especially those who have no interest in history taught the traditional way”.

“Obviously, we have succeeded in this mission, as more people are now talking about this aspect of Jamaican history and we hope they will now be motivated to engage in further research in the topic to have a greater understanding of our past,” the statement continued.

The organisation also highlighted that the reigning Miss Universe Jamaica, Iana Tickle Garcia is from Montego Bay.

It said: “The Miss Universe Jamaica Organization chose to highlight a tourism icon and national treasure from the tourism capital as the theme for the National Costume and decided that the Rose Hall Great House and its legend of Annie Palmer would be the fitting story, as Rose Hall Developments was also Iana's sponsors.”

The organisation also urged the nation to support Garcia, who it said has been “viciously attacked on social media for wearing the costume, while representing the country abroad.

“This is unacceptable. She is at a critical time in her young life when at 19 years she has worked extremely hard at home and invested her time and efforts in arriving at Miss Universe to represent an entire country.”

The organisation also urged the country to desist with the online bashing and allow Garcia to focus on competing and making the country proud.

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