England made some strides towards better racial relations when it crowned Rachel Christie the first black Miss England. However, just a day later her title is being questioned.

It was revealed that Rachel Christie had only 9 votes from the public, which ranked her at 49th out of 54 candidates. Either way she was going to make the finals, seeing as she had won a fast-track place by winning the Helen E Cosmetic Award. Organizers defended their decision, however.

Organizer Angie Beasley said all the girls knew success in the public vote would only secure a place in the last 15 and counted as one-seventh of the final judging decision.

‘When it gets to the top 15, they are judged on their confidence and their posture on stage and they are judged on their beauty and their personality,’ she said.

‘When it gets to the top 15 you cannot have the public vote judging that, it has to be a professional panel.’

However, who are the real judges? Only nine people of the 10,000 registered voters voted for Rachel Christie. Therefore, did the pageant see her as a token representative and use her relation to Linford Christie to exploit her popularity?

This looks like a possibility, seeing as fellow finalist Zoiey Smale, also black, got 2,013 votes compared to Miss Christie’s nine but failed to finish in the top three.

The whole scandal brings up some questions:

Have race relations really made that much progress?

Is the Miss England pageant exploiting Rachel Christie as a token black woman?

Can Rachel Christie overcome the controversy and shine in her role as the first black Miss England?

ORIGINAL: Rachel Christie was named the winner of Miss England 2009 in London last night.

Rachel is the niece of Linford Christie, a former athlete who specialized in the track, he is the only British man to win a gold medal in the 100 m at all four major competitions: the Olympic Games and the World, Commonwealth, and European championships. He is the most decorated British male athlete and his niece joins him in making history.

Rachel Christie, 20, who is also on course to appear at the London 2012 Olympics, she specializes in the heptathlon.

Check out Rachel below:

It’s better to be a woman…no really!!!

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