Little Miss Hispanic Delaware stripped of title for not looking "Latina enough"

In news that is sure to make you question the kind of world we live in, a young girl named Jayikah McKoy was recently crowned Little Miss Hispanic Delaware--only to be stripped of the title after many maintained the dark-skinned child was not "representative of a Latin beauty."

The pageant requires that every contestant be at least a quarter Latino and according to McKoy's family, the child's grandmother was born in the Dominican Republic. But apparently, some people were unwilling to take their word for it. According to El Tiempo Hispánico, public uproar started as soon as the winner was announced, with many claiming the young girl didn't look "Latina enough." Can you believe the nerve of some people?! And the whole thing only gets more offensive from there.

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After the complaints started rolling in, Nuestra Raíces, the organization sponsoring the pageant, asked her for proof of her ethnicity--something that wasn't asked of any of the other contestants. When the family failed to provide any, they stripped McKoy of both the crown and the title. So let me get this straight: first, Sebastien de la Cruz was too Latino...and now this little girl is not Latina enough? Give me a break.

Since the controversy started, Nuestra Raíces has released a statement to Latino Rebels, maintaining that "color has nothing to do with it" and that all winners are asked for proof of ethnicity. Though another girl has since been crowned (whom the organization describes as having blond hair and "very fair skin"), they also revealed that should documentation be provided, McKoy's title will be reinstated and they will have "dual queens."

Personally, I can't help but find their explanation suspect. If they really needed documentation, why would they wait until the very end of the competition, after these little girls have given it their all and have maybe even won a crown, to ask for it? It doesn't make any sense and if anything, it seems cruel to wait for the competition to over and a winner to be announced, only to then start questioning their background.

And even had she had the necessary documentation, the fact that people would start interrogating her over skin tone is just pathetic. As a Latina with family members that range from green-eyed and fair-skinned (my mother) to tan and blue-eyed to almost as dark-skinned as McKoy, I find it incredibly disheartening and even shameful that others refuse to accept how diverse the community really is. After all, what exactly is "Latina enough" anyway? And who is it that this little girl should have looked like to satisfy everyone else? I mean, we can't all be Sofia Vergara or Jennifer Lopez (as much as we love them).

It's sad that people still hold these close-minded beliefs--and even sadder that they feel the need to take it out young talented kids, like McKoy.

Image via El Tiempo Hispano

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