"I felt like a ray of sunshine was around me" is how Janelle described the feeling that night.
It's odd. I still remember where I was when she won the contest. I was on summer vacation out by a lake in Michigan with my grandparents, uncle and such. I understand that when Janelle was announced as the new Miss Universe, Trinidad and Tobago went wild. Evidently, Trinidadian television aired repeats of the pageant for days. The 24 year-old Caribbean beauty declared that she "believed her election would contribute to erasing racial barriers." Proud of her victory, she noted, "Beauty belongs to all people; it has no racial or geographic boundaries."
Today, Janelle runs the largest boat-building company in the Caribbean and maintains a low profile.
My definition of beauty evolved later in life. Halle Berry became the DROP-dead gorgeous woman of my dreams. Halle started out as a beauty queen and model and later became a pioneer for Black women in Hollywood. One of her first roles as a crack addict in Jungle Fever was impressive. She had minor roles in a number of movies such as The Last Boy Scout, Boomerang and The Flintstones.
In 1999 Berry realized a lifelong dream and won an acting Emmy when she produced and starred in the TV biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, about the first Black performer to be nominated for an Oscar as best actress. The part proved prophetic when Berry became the first Black actress to win that coveted award in 2002 for her unglamorous turn as a woman coping with a husband on death row in Monster's Ball. Billy Bob Thornton is still my hero as a result of his role in that movie!
Berry's personal life is a mess with high-profile divorces from professional baseball player David Justice and singer Eric Benet, and a hit-and-run accident and subsequent civil suit in 2000.
Currently, the two DROP-dead gorgeous women that I would love to see in our village are Meagan Good and Serena Williams! Well villagers, care to share your thoughts on a DROP-dead gorgeous man or woman on your mind?