Johannesburg – Once thought to be superficial contests promoting nothing but unrealistic ideals, the face the pageant industry seems to have changed over the past few years, gaining popularity once again and earning itself quite a large following.
This is no different in South Africa, where stories surrounding the crowing of a new beauty queen dominates headlines more often than not.
That being said, if you're as crazy about pageants as we are – we're talking the glitz, glamour and the drama – or if you're contemplating chasing a title of your own, then here are 6 local pageants that you should definitely be keeping an eye on.
1. Miss South Africa (Current title holder - Tamaryn Green)
Without a doubt the most prestigious local pageant title to hold, Miss South Africa has been running for 60 years.
Not only does winning this competition earn you a pretty crown and sash, it also gives you a shot at two of the "Big Four" international pageant titles – Miss World and Miss Universe.
2. Mrs South Africa (Current Title holder - Matapa Maila Rikhotso)
One of the rules of Miss SA is that participants are not allowed to be married. That's where Mrs South Africa steps in. This pageant is open to women who have tied the knot and has a cut-off age of 49 (higher than most beauty contests).
Mrs SA also has the honour ofrepresenting her country at the Mrs World pageant.
3. Mr SA (Current title holder - Gordon Stevens)
Here's one for the boys. Though it received a lot of flak for its top 20 finalist selection in 2019, the Mr SA pageant is still the most popular beauty contest for men. Previous winners include Michael Mol and Armand du Plessis.
Speaking to The Juice recently, the pageant CEO said that he wanted to challenge the idea that you need to be a "cover model" to enter Mr SA, focusing instead on the positive characteristics that the contestants hold.
4. Mr Gay World South Africa (Current title holder - Chris Emmanuel)
"It is not a beauty pageant, and there is no age limit". These are the words that can be found on the Mr Gay World South Africa website.
Held annually, the competition uses its platform to give a voice to the LGBTQI+ community. The job of the winner involves advocating for gay rights both locally and on an international level.
The winner of this pageant also goes on to represent SA on the Mr Gay World stage.
5. Miss Earth South Africa (Current title holder - Nazia Wadee)
As the title suggests, this pageant's primary focus is the preservation of our planet – a pretty important job if you ask us.
The website explains further: "The programme helps to create an awareness of sustainable development, our environment, wildlife and the conservation of our natural legacy in South Africa, and ultimately the preservation of Mother Earth."
Locally this contest carries a lot of weight as it puts you in line to win the Miss Earth title, which is also a part of the "Big Four" pageants.
6. Miss Queen of South Africa (Current title holder - Rambi Sechoaro)
While many may not be familiar with this contest, it actually serves as a preliminary competition for the last of the "Big Four" international competitions – Miss International.