Darcey - A Woman Of Colour Wins Miss Wales For The First Time Since 1997
Twenty-one-year-old Darcey Corria, from Barry, has been crowned Miss Wales 2022 – and is the first woman of colour to take the title in more than 20 years.
Darcey has a white British mother and a father who has Jamaican heritage.
She has taken on the mantle of a black rights campaigner in South Wales and has been actively involved in the Criminal Justice in Wales Anti-Racism Delivery Plan called Together Stronger. She volunteers for Race Equality First and helps women from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds integrate in to the community through health and fitness. She is a regular on marches in Cardiff calling for Zero Tolerance against racism – even taking the lead on microphone to inspire the crowd.
Darcey has also trained to be an Ask Me Ambassador for Welsh Women’s this year. Working in the care sector, she is a ‘dementia friend’ helping raise awareness and understanding of the condition
Darcey said: “I’m absolutely elated to win and feel so grateful to be Miss Wales 2022. I want to thank my friends and family and everyone who supported me along the way. I’m so excited to see where this journey takes me but more than anything I feel privileged to be the first woman of colour to hold the Miss Wales title.
“I would like to see more diversity on the Miss Wales stage in the future and I want to use my year to inspire more girls like me to know that they can be Miss Wales or anything else they want to be.
“Growing up, I didn’t see girls who looked like me in the media. I want to show little girls from the BAME community can realise that they too can take up space and have their dreams come true.”
The Miss Wales 2022 competition was Darcey’s second attempt at the crown. She competed in 2019 and placed second runner-up. Last night, at The Riverfront in Newport, she took to the stage with 19 other finalists from around Wales in front of a crowd of supporters – including a coach full of 35 friends and family who travelled from Barry to support her on the night.
The final involved three appearances on the stage including the patriotic Welsh wear opener; a red dress catwalk; and the traditional evening wear parade. All finalists also had one to one interviews with a panel of six judges.
As well as the catwalk event, the contestants took part in a Miss Wales Empowerment Day to help them in their personal development and leadership skills and attended a Miss Wales Charity Ball where Darcey was also presented with the ‘Spirit of Miss Wales’ Award for her work to combat racism.
In the run up to the event, Darcey and the other finalists had been tasked with fundraising for Beauty With A Purpose, the Miss World charity which helps disadvantaged children worldwide.
Paula Abbandonato, director of Miss Wales, said: “I am thrilled for Darcey. She should be so proud. I hope her win will inspire other young women of colour from across Wales to know that they are valued and that they are wanted in our competition – and that they can win.
“Standing on the Miss Wales stage is not the easiest of things. There is an interesting psychology to it because so many young women will think they aren’t ‘good enough’ – and by standing on that stage you are challenging that mentality. My message to young women – from any background – is to go for it. Dreams do come true.”
Now, Darcey will enjoy a year of appearances in her new role and will have the privilege of representing Wales at Miss World at a date and location yet to be announced.
The runners-up were Zoe Scrimshaw from Chepstow, who came second, and Catrin Harries from Bridgend who came third.