Upon announcing entries opening on 24 May, the Miss South Africa Pageant amended its requirements to allow trans women to enter the pageant.
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.
This improvement has been welcomed on social media, but some had questions:
That's great ?????— Miss Mo?? (@Mmabudu_M) May 25, 2021
Love to see it?— only Bruce (@ZBlackcatZ) May 25, 2021
Amazing! ????????????????????????— Nqobile Mngomezulu (@Nqomngomz) May 25, 2021
it still is disappointing because even though our constitution is so liberal, our people really aren’t and institutionally, making the change is sooooo difficult.— foyin ?? (@foyin_og) May 25, 2021
I just hope atleast 1 of them goes through to stage.....because we all know what happened last time they said everyone with everybody shape and size could enter. They ended up choosing the same kind of people.— After 6 (@Samucrystal) May 25, 2021
On condition that their identity document states female.. Do you know what does that process entail?— Rule Nisi (@RuleNisi) May 25, 2021
In addition to requiring trans entrants to have their identification document reflect female, the Miss SA pageant has other restrictions still in place.
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