It takes bravery, emotional resilience and most importantly surrounding yourself with strong minded people who are prepared to make great sacrifices to welcome permanent and positive change. I may not be able to unwrite a moment in my life but I know a moment will never define me. I will always rise above your expectations and pushed past your limitations. You are what you say you are, and your imaginations can be your worst enemy unless you overcome your fears. Be careful of what you think of others because it's a reflection of what you are. Work at being a better person, and one day we can welcome a better World. . . This moment has proved that I am capable of almost anything I set my mind to and limitations is a status waiting to be changed. I thank everyone who stood beside me and believed in my vision. 🙏🙌❤😘😙😘😍🙆😊💓 . . #missuniverse #mugb2017 #missuniversegb #fear #migrant #refugee #positive #change #love #modelling #friends #family #girls #pageant #empowerment #inspiration #inspire #aspire #history #munajama #caftan #kaftan #stage #london #dubai #love #indonesia #malaysia @missuniversegb Photographer @leedarephotography
Start-up founder Muna Jama didn’t win her beauty pageant in July, but months later, she’s still being celebrated for making history in the competition.
The Black Muslim woman, who co-founded Cloudless Research to stop child abuse and illegal migration in east Africa, participated in the Miss Universe Great Britain competition wearing a kaftan instead of a bikini.
“I didn’t enter the competition with expectations of inspiring anybody or representing a religion, a race, a country,” Jama told Mic Monday, Aug. 7. “I went in representing myself and staying true to myself. I didn’t do anything outside my normal life.”
The 27-year-old London resident initially applied to compete two years ago but got cold feet before pushing to cover up on the grounds of her religion. As a result, Jama became the first contestant to do so in the pageant, Metro.co.uk reported.
“I wouldn’t wear a bikini to a beach, so I’m not going to wear one in a competition to score points,” she told the website in May.
Jama discussed the versatility of the kaftan to Mic, saying it can be worn anywhere in public allowing the wearer to not “feel out of place or exposed.”
“It is my body and my choice and I believe people should do what they feel is right for them,” she said. “I wore a kaftan because it was my choice, just as much as the beautiful women that shared the stage with me wore a bikini because it was their choice.”
Jama’s religious fashion decision continues to be celebrated online, with comments lighting up her Instagram page in the past few days.