Mrs. SA runner up Olwethu Leshabane is speaking out about the lack of transformation in the pageant
The beauty queen says women of all races are not properly accommodated by the pageant.
Olwethu shared a post on her blog, ‘Art of a Superwoman’, addressing queries about why she has not participated in Mrs. SA events this year.
“A lot of stories and narratives have been doing the rounds and I thought to clear the air in my words and on my platform,” she wrote.
The businesswoman claims that after she addressed her concerns about lack of transformation with the pageant’s CEO, she found herself “set aside from the Mrs. SA agenda”.
“…the pageant industry in SA is lacking real transformation. The fact that the bottom-line comes before the participants that you are ‘attempting to empower’ is for me a concern,” she wrote on her blog.
One of Olwethu major concerns was the fact that the beauty products used during the pageant were not suitable for black women
“During the year leading up to the crowning, the black ladies who were participants faced a lot of struggles, one of them being hair and make-up. Considering the fact that this is a pageant and you are judged on the way you look, this was very stressful,” she added.
Olwethu says the foundation used “barely matched the black girls”.
She claims the Mrs. SA CEO suggested that the women bring their own foundations to shoots, events, and appearances.
“In a country with more than 80% of the population being black and brown, the industry with the most power in setting society’s standard of beauty, has made it difficult for black and brown girls to feel beautiful,” Olwethu wrote on her blog.
But Mrs. SA officials have dismissed claims that she was sidelined from events, saying she elected not to participate
“The company has always ensured that beauty products for all hair and skin types get used and utilize multi-racial hair, make-up and designer teams,” they said in a statement