Trans women can now enter the Miss SA pageant, plus other rules you may not know about the competition

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Shudufhadzo Musida from Limpopo is crowned Miss SA 2020 during Miss SA 2020 Final on 24 October 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Jaco Marais/Die Burger/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
Shudufhadzo Musida from Limpopo is crowned Miss SA 2020 during Miss SA 2020 Final on 24 October 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Jaco Marais/Die Burger/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

Upon announcing entries opening on 24 May, the Miss South Africa Pageant amended its requirements to allow trans women to enter the pageant.

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On its website, the organisation says, “Trans women are eligible to enter the Miss South Africa pageant, however, in order to be eligible to compete internationally, the contestant must be in possession of a valid South African ID document reflecting that their amended sex is female." 

After having Sibabalwe Gcilitshana being the first openly queer finalist in 2019 and seeing unprecedented diversity in the finalist cohort that year, the pageant has now declared – since its establishment in 1956 – that trans women can enter.

READ MORE | Miss South Africa announces their most diverse group of finalists yet - is this the picture of representation we've been waiting for? 

This improvement has been welcomed on social media, but some had questions:

In addition to requiring trans entrants to have their identification document reflect female, the Miss SA pageant has other restrictions still in place.

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Also citing international regulations, the pageant has the following restrictions:

- The applicant cannot have ever been married, civil nor customary, or have had a marriage annulled. The crowned Miss South Africa is also required to remain unmarried until after competing in the international competition.

- The applicant cannot be pregnant, have given birth to or parented a child. This year, the Miss South Africa Organisation also states that it actively reviewing this requirement and hopes to implement a change in 2022.

- There are no restrictions for tattoos or piercings.

- There are also no height or weight specifications or requirements.  

- Applicants must be between 20 and 28 years old as of 1 October 2021.

What are your thoughts on Miss SA’s amended requirements? Let us know here.

SOURCE: Miss SA website

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