And suddenly mense are tuning into beauty pageants again, ne?
When the power is on, of course.
Who saw this one coming?
On Monday morning, South Africa woke up to the shock news of Stage 6 load shedding, and that Miss SA Zozibini Tunzi had been crowned Miss Universe!
Isn’t it a lekker feeling seeing our own peeps doing well on the world stage?
It fills you with that heartwarming national pride, and just makes you feel positive amid all the negativity we face daily.
It’s been a good few weeks for South Africa, hasn’t it?
With the Springboks bringing home the Rugby World Cup, and the Blitzbokke kicking off the Sevens series with a big win in Dubai.
And then Zozi conquering the “universe” in Atlanta, Georgia, in the US of A.
Mzansi meisies have had a good run over the past few years, with Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters winning the title in 2017. And Rolene Strauss crowned Miss World in 2014.
But this time it’s different.
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Tonight a door was opened and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it. May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine. I proudly state my name Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2019!
A post shared by Zozibini Tunzi (@zozitunzi) on
Zozi’s triumph is a game-changer for the pageant business.
Not because she’s an African woman, from Tsolo village in the Eastern Cape.
But because she defies conventional standards of beauty.
Looking at pictures of the contestants on stage, Zozi stood out among a sea of mostly powdery white faces with long straight hair and thick red lipstick.
All around the world, since the advent of pageants, this is what beauty queens are “supposed to” look like - even the black ones.
With her short kinky hair and natural full brown lips, Zozi has challenged the norm and changed the judges’ perceptions.
It took guts to do what Zozi did.
Munier recalls, growing up in the 80s, watching the Miss SA pageants on TV, which were dominated by icons like Margaret Gardiner and Anneline Kriel.
Those women in their all-white pageants defined what was beautiful to all South Africans.
Back in that old white world, when you turned on the TV or opened a magazine, there were no brown faces - let alone beautiful brown faces.
You were conditioned into believing that white was beautiful.
Black, coloured and Asian people didn’t have role models in the media to look up to.
So ons vroumense had to imitate white women and follow their beauty and fashion trends.
They had to straighten their hair, trim their curvier figures and even lighten their skin.
Now, don’t misunderstand, those white queens mentioned above were all stunning beauties. No question.
The point Munier is trying to make is: white beauty is not the only kind of beauty.
We should celebrate our diversity of beauty - in all its colours, shapes and forms.
To hold one culture of beauty above others is one of the nastiest forms of racism.
And that is the powerful message the Miss Universe pageant has sent out to Hollywood and the world.
Zozi, herself, said after her crowning: “I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and kind of hair is never considered to be beautiful and I think that it is time that stops.”
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“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful. I think that it is time that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.” #MissUniverse2019 @zozitunzi
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Spoken like a true queen.
Munier can just imagine how African-American women must have reacted to that statement.Chanting “Wakanda!” instead of “Amandla!”
This weekend all eyes will be on Miss SA Sasha-Lee Oliver, another brown beauty who will be vying for the Miss World title in the UK.
Good luck, Sasha-Lee.