She beat 16 other women to be crowned Miss Algeria, but Khadija Ben Hamou’s win has been subjected to a torrent of racist abuse, reports The National.
Khadija made history when she became the first black woman to take the crown at the annual beauty pageant on Saturday (January 5), but her win has since been tainted by people who took to social media to dispute the judges’ choice, largely down to the colour of her skin.
Trolls flooded Facebook and Twitter to comment on her appearance, including her hair, weight and features. When other social media users began to call out those spouting racist abuse, some Twitter users maintained it had nothing to do with race. “She just wasn’t that pretty”, one person wrote.
I'm not the paranoid type but certain social media accounts always to trying to stir up trouble when it comes to Algeria, most recent example the reaction to Miss Algeria 2019, some people are trying to make it about race, race has nothing to do with it she's just not that pretty pic.twitter.com/xxgzZ3awmd
— Walid Bylka (@bylka613_) January 5, 2019
However, plenty of users were quick to praise the diversity of this year’s competition and jump to Khadija’s defense, congratulating her.
Writing on Facebook, one user said: “If I understand correctly, you want a miss Algeria that looks like a Swedish!? It’s one of the charms of our diversity, a Saharan charm, I’m glad to finally see a miss who comes from the south Algerian.”
Or on this Tweet, this user is simply saying that Algeria does not deserve such a beauty!
Miss Algérie 2019 est beaucoup trop belle ❤️
Vous la méritez absolument pas, je lui offre tout mon soutien 💫 pic.twitter.com/tKdVE4DNEK
— Otceles (@ChamsousSabbah) January 6, 2019
Another said: “Y’all can’t be making fun of her nose, hair and skin complexion and say it’s not racist.”
Khadija, who comes from the Adrar in the south of the country, took part in 20 rounds of the competition before being crowned Miss Algeria 2019.
Following her win, she will go on to represent the country on a global scale at Miss World and will take part in charity work alongside the organisation.