The reigning Mrs Plus South Africa 2018 Kenalemang Itholeng aims to make South Africa proud by leaving a mark at the international leg of 2019 Mrs Plus World pageant. She hopes to influence contestants in her category. Itholeng (39) from Bloemfontein was crowned last year as the winner in the married category of the pageant. She will be competing for the international title with other women from participating international countries. The 2019 international final of the coveted pageant will be held in Houston, Texas, in America from 7 to 9 August – celebrating international women’s month. Itholeng will be the third woman from Bloemfontein to represent South Africa at this coveted beauty pageant, whose chief objective is to enable curvy and well-endowed women to showcase their beauty. The other contestants were Puleng Direko and Dipolelo Hou, who represented South Africa at the Miss Plus World final in Georgia, Atlanta, last year. Both won individual prizes. “I am looking forward to get exposure internationally. The pageant is an opportunity for plus size women to embrace their nature and love themselves and to develop their quality. “The pageant is changing the perception about curvy and well-endowed women. It makes them believe they are also beautiful and appreciative. Plus size women are growing in confidence and have developed a great sense of positive self-image,” said Itholeng.According to Itholeng, the pageant has inspired her. “It has boosted my confidence in a way I never imagined. My self-awareness has improved. I love the fact that there is charity work as part of the pageant. “The charity side of the competition resonates well with my passion to help people and give back to the society. It makes me feel good,” said Itholeng. According to Itholeng, to compete internationally shows the pageant is prestigious, saying it creates exciting opportunities for plus women to embrace themselves.