The “Ten Types-One People” multiracial beauty contest was launched in 1955 in Jamaica, then a British colony on the cusp of independence. Jamaican nationalists designed “Ten Types” as a central part of the “Jamaica 300” tercentenary celebrations, the colony's first foray into imagining modern Jamaicanness as a national event. The contest comprised ten separate competitions, each of which represented a category for a particular skin tone, including “Miss Apple Blossom,” “Miss Allspice,” and “Miss Ebony.” “Ten Types” privileged a brown visualization of Jamaicanness, and revealed brown femininity as central to a new iconography of modern Jamaica. “Miss Ebony,” the category for dark-complected women, won particular public attention, for it allegorized the desirable transformation of the mass of black Jamaica into a refined modern citizenry. The “Ten Types” beauty contest provides an opportunity to examine the spectacle of the racialized female body in the construction of a multiracial modern Jamaican identity.
“Glorifying the Jamaican Girl”: The “Ten Types One People” Beauty Contest, Racialized Femininities, and Jamaican Nationalism
Rochelle Rowe; “Glorifying the Jamaican Girl”: The “Ten Types One People” Beauty Contest, Racialized Femininities, and Jamaican Nationalism. Radical History Review 1 January 2009; 2009 (103): 36–58. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01636545-2008-039
Download citation file: