Jennifer Hosten is a Grenadian radio announcer, development worker, diplomat, author, model and beauty queen who won the Miss World 1970 contest, representing Grenada. She became the first woman from her country to win the title.
Hosten was born on October 31, 1947, in St. George’s, Grenada. At 22 years old, she entered the Miss World contest which was held that year in London, UK. However, from the outset, the 1970 pageant was troubled with controversy.
At the time, the pageant official allowed two women to represent South Africa, one black and one white, it was during the time that the nation was under the apartheid system. Liberation groups protested during this time that the pageants demeaned and objectified women.
The unrest intensified when Ms. Hosten and the black contestant from South Africa were announced as Miss World and first runner-up, respectively. Numerous protesters charged that the results displayed racism against the unsuccessful white contestants. It was later revealed that four of the nine judges had awarded Miss Sweden their first-place votes while Ms. Grenada (Jennifer Hosten) received only two first-place votes. Despite the vote, Miss Sweden finished as the fourth runner-up. Adding to the controversy was the presence of Sir Eric Gairy, the then prime minister of Grenada, as one of the judges.
In days immediately following the crowning of Ms. Hosten, Julia Morley, the pageant director, resigned due to intense pressure and coverage from the British news media.
After her reign, Hosten worked in customer relations for Air Canada and married David Craig, one of the airline executives. Hosten went on to earn a Master’s degree in political science and international relations from Carleton University in Ottawa and between 1978 and 1981 served as Grenada’s high commissioner to Canada.