Miss World 1970 by Jennifer Hosten
The Craziest Pageant in History and the Rest of My Life
“I cannot explain the confidence that possessed me on the evening of November 20, 1970, but I was definitely feeling it.’
MISS WORLD 1970
Jennifer Hosten went to the 1970 Miss World pageant on a lark, representing the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada, and came home with the crown and a place in history. What was supposed to be a light-hearted affair, with a parade of the world's most beautiful women vying for the attention of the judges and comedian/host Bob Hope, turned out to be the most controversial, politically-charged, and consequential pageant ever.
Women's liberation activists blew up a BBC broadcast truck and stormed London's Royal Albert Hall in an attempt to sabotage the show, which they deemed a "cattle market." They threw rotten vegetables in the auditorium and hit Bob Hope with a flour bomb. When order was restored, Jennifer Hosten made history as the first women of colour to win the title.
The broadcast introduced its massive audience to both a militant new brand of feminism and a new ideal of beauty, one in which the whole world could share. Ms. Hosten followed her triumph with a successful career as a diplomat and public servant in Grenada and Canada.
|Jennifer Hosten and Bob Hope, courtesy of Sutherland House|
While working as a flight attendant, one thing led to another, that eventually led to her being crowned Miss Grenada, which then took her to the stage at Miss World 1970.
‘I had the strangest feeling in my stomach when I heard the announcement: “And Miss World 1970 is Miss Grenada!” I was stunned, and, for the first time that evening, unprepared.’
|Courtesy of Sutherland House|
A native of Grenada, Jennifer Hosten trained with the BBC and worked as a broadcaster and airline hostess before winning the 1970 Miss World competition. After, she enjoyed a career in diplomacy, trade negotiation, and international development. She also founded and ran a successful inn in Grenada, and now practices as a registered psychotherapist. A mother of two children, she lives in Oakville, Ontario.