Miss SA organisers say they are looking forward to this year’s competition where mothers and married women will be among those contesting for the coveted crown for the first time since the pageant was established.
Trans women are also allowed to enter the competition.
While the historic move has raised eyebrows in various quarters, organisers say it is part of efforts to disrupt patriarchal rules, which have long governed the beauty contest.
YNews spoke with Miss South Africa CEO, Stephanie Weil, who says the new regulations advocate for more inclusivity in the pageant space.
“I think it’s also because women now are running the system and they have seen that if they can be CEOs – why should a woman who has children or is married – be excluded from the platform.”
The decision was also based on international regulations, she says. Last year, Miss Universe organisers announced that they will be allowing married women to conten.
“We have been pushing for inclusion for years now. All our regulations speak to what international norms are. I can’t wait to see incredible young women face their power.”
Weil says their new rules don’t change anything regarding to the age of women who will be entering.
Only women between the ages of 20 to 30 years are allowed to vie for the crown.
“People always have this idea that pageantry is an outdated business or irrelevant journey for women to go on. But we want to show that it is the only platform where a woman’s voice can be heard. Not only on the national but also international platform. And that inclusivity is important for us to show case the diversity of South African women and African women across the world.”
Entry for the competition closes on Friday. Article by Naomi Kobbie
Written by: Lindiwe Mabena