The Miss South Africa Organisation has released a statement confirming that transgender women have been allowed to enter and compete in the Miss South Africa beauty pageant for the past three years.
This has been the case since the organisation bought the licence to Miss South Africa in 2019.
“Since we took over the competition, our goal has been to be more inclusive and embracing of all members of society. The world is finally opening up to the changing beauty standards and understanding that beauty is not one size fits all. We hope that the Miss South Africa Organisation will continue to play a role that can act as a catalyst to this,” says CEO Stephanie Weil.
This comes after various news organisations reported the competition was now open to transgender women.
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Asked for further comment if there had been any trans women participants, Miss SA said: “We don’t actively seek any women to enter. “We don’t know how many trans women have entered in the past two years as they don’t have to disclose this if they don’t choose to. To date, we have had no transgender entrants in the top 10.”
Weil says: “Miss South Africa will continue to recognise the innate potential in all young South African women and will provide both the tools and the platform to augment and shape this inbuilt talent into a leader who embraces her self-worth while inspiring others and creating a real social impact.”
In order for trans entrants to be eligible to compete internationally, the contestant must be in possession of a valid South African ID which reflects their gender identity alignment.
In April, former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi on Instagram paid tribute to Angela Ponce, Miss Spain 2018 who is the first-ever transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.
The Instagram post was captioned: “Celebrating the first ever transgender woman to compete at Miss Universe on this International Transgender Day of Visibility. The ever beautiful @angelaponceofficial You did that!! They must never forget.”
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