Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2020 Appointed


Estefanía Soto Torres has been appointed Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2020 by Denise Quiñones, the national director of the pageant and former Miss Universe. Soto will now represent the Enchanted Isle in the next edition of Miss Universe pageant whose date and venue have yet to be confirmed. Soto was first runner-up to last year’s winner Madison Anderson who was first runner-up at Miss Universe 2019. 

Photo credit: El Nuevo Dia

New Venezuelan Queens For 2020


For the first time in decades of Miss Venezuela competitions, the pageant was held virtually on September 24 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Three new Venezuelan queens were crowned.

Mariangel Villasmil Arteaga, representing Zulia, was elected Miss Venezuela 2020. She will represent Venezuela in the next edition of Miss Universe pageant.

Isbel Parra, representing Región Guayana, was elected Miss Venezuela International 2020. She will now represent her country in 2021 Miss International pageant in Japan next October.

Alejandra Conde, representing Aragua, was elected Miss World Venezuela 2020. She will now compete in Miss World 2021 whose date and venue have not yet been confirmed. 

Each of the 22 competitors has been under strict confinement at home under quarantine requirements Venezuela imposed in mid-March, relying on distance learning through social media to master walking the runway, putting on makeup and performing, organizers say. The six-month training process to prepare the young women was done entirely online.

Photo credit: Miss Venezuela Oficial, Instagram


Winner Of Miss Grand Thailand 2020 Called "Ugly" And "Negro" For Supporting Protesters


Pacharaporn “Nam” Chantarapadit is crowned as the Miss Grand Thailand 2020 on Sept. 20, 2020.

BANGKOK — The winner of Miss Grand Thailand 2020 pageant contest came under fire Monday from pro-establishment netizens for siding with the anti-government protests. 

Pacharaporn “Nam” Chantarapadit, 22, was crowned the winner on Sunday night after a round of question-and-answer section, in which contestants were asked for their opinions about the protest that was unfolding in Bangkok’s historic quarter. 

“From my heart, I pick the protesters,” Nam, who represented Rayong, said. “We have rights to express our views and we want to choose what’s best for our country. More than that, I want to say to the government.”

She went on in English, “If you calling this country Thailand, we need a real democracy. And moreover, we need you to get out of the country!”

Supporters of the government immediately lashed out at Nam in a slew of negative comments. Some also attacked her look and deployed racially charged terms in their criticism.

“I thought you were a negro,” wrote user Kalayakorn Thanonpijirakul.

“This squid-ink-skin is degenerate,” wrote Chote Sommee. 

“Not only is she ugly, her behavior is bad too. Do the judges also hate the monarchy institution?” wrote user Tikumporn Singhaseni. 

“This is the ugliest beauty queen I’ve ever seen. I thought this was a beauty queen from Africa,” wrote Khunphuwasit Shi. 

“She’s as black as a burnt-and-forgotten coals. What are you guys doing to Thailand?” wrote Tepphabutr Misababa Latcharot.

Political Beauties 

The question-and-answer round took place on Saturday, and it was broadcast live on TV the same time a large anti-government protest was taking place on Sanam Luang. 

The final question for the five finalists was, “In regards to the protests that are approaching violence, if you could talk to the protesters or the government, who would you pick, and what would you say to them to improve the situation?” 

The winners of Miss Grand Thailand 2020 competition.

Although Nam’s answer was the most impassioned out of all finalists, she wasn’t the only one to express support for the movement. 

“I want to say to the protesters, if there was no Miss Grand Thailand 2020 pageant, I would be at the protest,” first runner-up Miss Grand Pathum Thani Indy Johnson said. 

“It’s not wrong for the young generation to express their opinions, because we are the ones who have to live with the future,” she added.

Second runner-up Miss Grand Nakhon Si Thammarat Patchaploy Ruendaluang also said, “I would tell the government that today, we citizens are demanding for the return of democracy. If you think of citizens’ opinions even just a little bit, this kind of thing would not happen.” 

Miss Grand Chiang Rai Juthamas Mekhaseree, who finished as the third-runner up, said she would volunteer to be a student representative and tell the government that people were suffering from a bad economy. 

Fourth runner-up Miss Grand Mukdahan Natnicha Sritongsuk said that she supported people expressing their political opinions as long as there was no violence. 

The judges also chose Miss Grand Ratchaburi’s costume depicting the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market as the year’s winner for the national costume contest. 

For her victory, Nam won a crown worth 1.2 million baht, a condo, a car, and other prizes worth 6 million baht. 

Source: Khaosodenglish.com, Sept. 21, 2020

Amazing Tornado Walk At Miss Grand Thailand 2020 - But Who Invented The Walk?


Watch CB Director Rafa Delfin's latest vlog. Click the banner to take you to the link.


Miss Grand Thailand 2020 Crowned


The new Miss Grand Thailand 2020 is Nam Chantarapradit representing the province of Ranong. She was crowned on September 19 during a pageant that was live streamed on Facebook. She will now represent Thailand in the next edition of Miss Grand International which is supposed to take place again in Caracas, Venezuela on October 25 as it was announced by MGI President Nawat Itsaragrisil during the 2019 pageant. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pageant may be postposed to a later date.

Watch Nam's winning performance:


Transgender Pageant Winner From Philippines Slams Pardon of US Marine Who Killed Trans Woman

Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton (center) 

The victory for Miss Trans Global Mela Franco Habijan was a bittersweet moment she will forever remember. On the evening of Saturday, September 12, Mela’s childhood dream came true when she was crowned the first winner of a new global pageant for transgender women.

Filipino pageant enthusiasts revelled in the 33-year-old actress’ victory. But the celebration was dampened by news that devastated the LGBTQ community in the Philippines: a U.S. Marine convicted for brutally killing a transgender woman in 2014 was about to walk free.

On Sunday, September 13, images of Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton being uncuffed just before he boarded an American military plane pinballed across social media and TV screens in the Philippines.

The case outraged advocates and campaigners and renewed calls to scrap defense pacts with the U.S., which no longer runs the Philippines as a colony but still maintains a military presence there. 

After serving only six years of his already reduced 10-year sentence for murdering Jennifer Laude after a night out, Pemberton left the Philippines. His express lane to freedom was paved by President Rodrigo Duterte’s absolute pardon, granted just a week before.

“It was hard for me to celebrate,” Mela told VICE News. “I was outraged to see him [Pemberton] being uncuffed and walking free.”

It was then that Mela knew that her victory could serve a higher calling. She needed to use her new title and platform to champion better rights and protections for her community. 

“In the Philippines, even if they say we’re accepted, we’re tolerated, the reality is we’re not,” she said. “When I won the title, people took the opportunity to bash me and to make fun of Jennifer Laude’s murder.”


Philippine media outlets quickly reported and ran features about Mela’s victory. But comment sections were filled with hateful rhetoric about her identity and lifestyle. 

“God created only man and a woman,” one comment read. “Don’t show yourself to Pemberton or you will be the next Jennifer Laude,” another read. 

Beauty pageants are a big deal in the Philippines, which is home to numerous Miss Universe and other international competitions. In 2018, Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe 2018, the fourth Filipino woman to win the competition. 

Organized during the coronavirus pandemic, Miss Trans Global 2020 was “an inclusive competition run by trans female activists for trans women of all backgrounds, shapes, and sizes,” according to the competition’s description. All 18 contestants from around the world were asked to shoot their own videos to participate.

During the virtual coronation night, Mela bested the 17 other candidates and also won awards for Most Eloquent Queen and Most Glamorous Queen.

She dedicated her pageant journey and victory to Jennifer Laude.

“I was hurting. Jennifer Laude was killed. My trans sister was killed,” she said.

“People quote the Bible a lot when they condemn us,” Mela, who is also a Christian, said. “But why can’t they quote from the Bible one of the Ten Commandments. ‘Thou shalt not kill.’”

Duterte’s pardon caused outrage and protests in the Philippines. For them, it was a huge setback in a long fight for equal rights and protection in a predominantly Christian country. 

The issue was hotly debated on social media. While others condemned Duterte’s decision, his supporters rallied behind him. 

“If you were Jennifer’s family, how would you feel? Shortening his sentence was already heartbreaking, and now it was the president himself who granted him a pardon,” Mela said. “That is not justice.”

Source: VICE, 9/15/2020


Interview With Noemi Melendez - National Director of Miss Cuba Organization

 Watch CB Director Rafa Delfin's interview with Noemi Melendez, national director of Miss Cuba Organization. Click the banner to take you to the link:


Interview With Héctor Joaquín Colón González - Pageant Coach, Journalist, Blogger, Host, Actor

Watch CB Director Rafa Delfin Interviewing Pageant Personality Héctor Joaquín Colón González, Click the banner that will take you to the link.

This interview was done live on Instagram on August 31, 2020 starting at 1:00 PM EST. It was supposed to have two parts. The first part was in Spanish, but we got disconnected after 15 minutes, so most of the chat in Spanish was gone. The second part was in English which I was able to save and which comprises the bulk of this video. Hector answers the following questions in English starting at time stamp 2:35: 1. Why did you leave Miss Intercontinental? 2. What is the best pageant in the world for young women to compete in and why? 3. Who is your favorite Miss Universe? 4. Do you think that IMG is doing a good job running the Miss Universe Organization? 5. What is the most challenging aspect of training/preparing a potential beauty queen? 6. What qualities make a true beauty queen? 7. You have traveled around the world and have visited many countries. Which country do you like the most and why? 8. What were your misconceptions about the Philippines & Filipinos that were proven wrong when you came to the Philippines? 9. What new things have you learned during the lockdown? 10. Where do you see yourself five years from now?



Graceland To Host Miss USA & Miss Teen USA 2020 In November

 Miss North Carolina Cheslie Kryst gets crowned by last year's winner Sarah Rose Summers after winning the 2019 Miss USA final competition in the Grand Theatre in the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno on May 2, 2019.

Cheslie Kryst of North Carolina was crowned Miss USA 2019 last May 2.

The Miss USA competition will be held Nov. 9 at Graceland.

Organized to be "an innovative event that prioritizes the health and safety of the contestants, audience, and crew," the nationally televised pageant and related events will take place in the Exhibition Center and the Soundstage at Graceland, two concert-and-event spaces located at the Elvis Presley's Memphis complex across the street from the Presley mansion.

The Miss USA event will be preceded on Nov. 7 by its younger sibling pageant, the Miss Teen USA competition, for young women ages 14-19. This will mark a return visit to Memphis for Miss Teen USA: The second pageant in the competition's history was held at the old Memphis Cook Convention Center on April 3, 1984.

The contestants will arrive in Memphis days before the competition, where they and their entourages will be ensconced at The Guest House at Graceland hotel.

Prior to the pageants, they'll take part in various travelogue segments that promote the host city, filmed at such locations as the National Civil Rights Museum and Elvis Presley's Memphis, where they may pause in front of Elvis' prophetically titled 11th feature film: "Girls! Girls! Girls!"

"You're going to see Instagramable moments from Memphis, Instagramable moments from Graceland," Weinshanker said. "You can think about seeing them in the mansion, seeing them at the Civil Rights Museum..." He said some contestants would travel to Memphis "weeks" in advance, to shoot promotional segments.

The productions surely will show Memphis in its best light, but the competitions are not the ratings powerhouses they were in years past: Miss USA will be televised live at 8 p.m. Nov. 9 on FYI, a cable network that focuses on "lifestyle programming." Miss Teen USA will not be televised but will be streamed live at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 via the Miss Universe Organization social-media accounts. Both pageants will take place in the Soundstage, where seating will be limited to about 25% of the venue's 2,000 capacity.

Weinshanker said protocols for the pageant will be similar to those instituted for staging basketball games in the so-called "NBA bubble," the isolation zone at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, that was created to keep players safe during games. Although it would make for some novel swimsuit and evening gown photos, the contestants will not wear masks during the competitions, he said, just as players don't wear masks during games.

“The Miss Universe Organization and the team at Graceland have created an innovative event that prioritizes the health and safety of the contestants, audience, and crew who will join us in Graceland,” said Paula M. Shugart, president of The Miss Universe Organization, in a statement.

“We look forward to crowning a new Miss USA and Miss Teen USA in the historic city of Memphis. While this year’s competitions will look a little different as we adhere to crucial safety guidelines, we are excited to bring the thrill and excitement of the iconic Miss USA and Miss Teen USA competitions to homes across America.”

Added Weinshanker, in a statement: “Working with the Miss Universe Organization, a global, inclusive organization that celebrates women of all cultures and backgrounds and empowers them to realize their goals, is extremely important today. We very much look forward to being part of the broadcast and events.”

Created along with the Miss Universe pageant in 1952 as a glitzier, sexier rival to the then 31-year-old Miss America competition, Miss USA in recent years has probably been mentioned in the news most frequently due to its association with Donald Trump, who owned the Miss Universe Organization from 1996 to 2015. 

The Miss USA pageant was on CBS and NBC until 2015, and often topped the Nielsen ratings in the 1980s. Last year's pageant was on Fox. 

The Miss Teen USA pageant started on CBS but has been a "streaming" event since 2008. Both 2019 pageants were held in Reno, Nevada.

The winner of Miss USA will move to New York City, "to represent the brand and various philanthropic organizations during her reign," according to a Graceland press release, while Miss Teen USA will carry out her duties from her home state.

Source: CommercialAppeal.com, Aug. 31, 2020


Miss Brazil 2020 Crowned

Júlia Gama was elected the new Miss Brasil 2020 and will represent the country in the next Miss Universe pageant. The choice was announced last Thursday through the contest's digital networks.

 Gama was chosen via a virtual election due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Her selection was made by the judging team, which included businessman Winston Ling, a new franchisee from Miss Brazil, Ricardo Godoy, missologist Roberto Macedo, and filmmakers Débora Gobitta and Messina Neto.

Julia lives in China, where she works as an actress. She represented Brazil at Miss World 2014.

Source: Correio24horas.com.br, 8/21/2020


New Czech Queens For 2020

The Miss Czech Republic 2020 pageant took place  on July 23 in Prague and five lucky winners were crowned, each to represent the country in their respective international pageant. Here are the official results:

Karolina Kopincova, 21 - Miss World Czech Republic 2020 and will compete in Miss World 2021 (due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 pageant has been canceled and the next contest will take place "in the second semester of 2021.")

Veronika Smidova, 18 - Miss Intercontinental Czech Republic 2020 and will compete in Miss Intercontinental 2020.

Barbora Aglerova, 21 - Miss Grand International Czech Republic 2020 and will compete in Miss Grand International 2020.

Natalie Kocendova, 20 - Miss International Czech Republic 2020 and will compete in Miss International 2021 (the 2020 pageant has been postponed until November 2021).

Angelika Kostyshynova, 23 - Miss Supranational Czech Republic 2020 and will compete in Miss Supranational 2020.

The pageant was broadcasted live in a studio without any audience; however,  competition partners, media representatives and family members of the finalists were invited. The evening was hosted by David Gránský. 

Instagram: @Pageantz4life


Former Miss Universe Catriona Gray Decries Alleged Topless Photo Of Her

Photo: Catriona Gray / FB

Get your mind out of the gutter because the queen is having none of it.
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray shut down talk that an alleged topless photo of herself which started circulating online over the weekend was real, firmly stressing that the picture is bogus.
“We want to inform the public that the photo is fake and digitally altered,” her lawyer Joji Alonso said in a statement released yesterday.
Gray’s legal counsel said that they are actively coordinating with authorities to hold whoever is “behind this scheme” accountable so that they can “face penal sanctions accordingly.”
“We will likewise take legal action against those involved in the manufacture and publication of [the] said photo,” Alonso warned.
The lawyer added that an unnamed tabloid had planned to release the suspicious photo, which is expected to smear the beauty queen’s reputation.
“We strongly denounce this vicious attempt to tarnish the good name of Ms. Gray. At a time when fake news is prevalent, we firmly urge the public to be discerning and critical of what they see and share on social media,” Alonso added.
Shortly before posting the statement on social media, the lawyer shared a video of a commercial shoot where the 26-year-old beauty queen is seen apparently topless.
“When someone circulates photos giving a false impression of nudity…” Alonso wrote, then linked a video of Gray’s 2014 advertisement for local clothing brand Bench, where she’s seen singing in a bath tub getting ready for Valentine’s.

Gray’s photos circulated online just a few days after her former boyfriend, Filipino-German model Clint Bondad wrote several perplexing social media posts which many believed alluded to the beauty queen and her current flame, actor Sam Milby. Included in the series of cryptic Instagram stories, Bondad posted a message he sent to Milby asking him for a “little chat.”
While the beloved pageant titleholder has kept mum, Milby has come to his girlfriend’s defense after the malicious posts and images circulated online.
“Cat and I have chosen to kept (sic) our relationship mostly private…but that does not mean that there is truth to any of these false stories and false news that people are creating to fill in the blanks. In fact, these wrongful accusations and defamatory lies are dangerous. One’s silence does not imply guilt. It has been our initial choice not to response (sic) to all these baseless claims,” Milby said.
Milby called Gray “one of the kindest souls I’ve ever known.”
“Her grace, dignity, and strength even in the midst of all these false accusations makes (sic) me admire and love her even more. I will always be here for her and will do anything in my power to protect her,” Milby added.

 Source: Coconuts Manila, 7/20/2020


Current Miss Montana Won't Attend Next Competition Due To COVID-19

MO SHEA, MISS MONTANA 2019 (Credit: Mo Shea Facebook)
The Miss Montana Scholarship Organization's annual contest is set for Glendive at the end of July and it's the only state-level competition being held this year, according to the lead organizer. But it will proceed without the current titleholder, who resigned Saturday over concerns about the health risks associated with having the event.
The competition was originally scheduled for June, but pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has sickened more than 1,600 statewide and killed 28It's now set for July 23-25 at the Dawson County High School auditorium. That county reported no active COVID-19 cases Saturday and has had eight overall, but contestants and attendees are coming from around the state to participate and will stay with host families in the community.
The director of the Dawson County Health Department said earlier this week that the county Board of Health approved plans submitted by the organization at its June 26 board meeting, and the organization posted to its Facebook page the following day that the in-person competition is a "go."
But Mo Shea, of Helena, who was crowned Miss Montana in 2019, said she will not attend the competition due to health concerns.
"In light of the current public health crisis in our state and around the country, and my current understanding of the plan to move forward with this year's competition, I feel I would be putting my own health and the health of those in my life at risk by attend this year's program," Shea said in an Instagram Post. "I have accepted a job offer working in health care and it would be wrong of me to put the health of the individuals who I serve in jeopardy. As someone with plans to enter the medical field, as an aspiring physician, and as a public health advocate since the age of fifteen, I strongly believe that taking part in this year's program, as much as I may want to, must come second to my ethical duty to my patients."
Shea graduated from Helena High School in 2015 and earned a degree in cellular and molecular neuroscience from the University of Montana, where she graduated magna cum laude. She plans to enroll in medical school in the fall of 2020 and specialize in dermatology, she said when she was crowned in 2019.
Jan Holden, the executive director of the Miss Montana Scholarship Organization, said earlier this week that the the organization chose to go ahead with its event because the ball was already rolling and the organization felt events could adapt to get health department approval.
“Things were in place. To be honest, we do this for the girls. This is a scholarship program. We do this for the girls and it was what they wanted and that’s why we decided we’ll move forward until we’re stopped and we haven’t been stopped,” Holden said. "We've scaled everything way back. We will do a lot of things differently, especially during the show. We've scaled everything back so it's pretty basic."
The organization is not holding its Princess Program or its Little Sisters programs, both for girls ages 6-9. That will cut the crowd down, Holden said, as those were big crowd draws.
Other events like those held in the community or the ice cream social won't happen this year. There’s normally a big silent auction in the lobby, with vendors, which will be moved to during intermission this year. And there won’t be any food for sale, only bottled water.
“They’re little concessions. Little things we had to cut down for the girls,” Holden said.
The auditorium where the competition is held seats a thousand people, but the plan is to tape off every other row, so people will only fill half of the auditorium. Even in the competition's biggest year, it did not draw more than 500 spectators, Holden said.
There will also be signs posted at the auditorium telling people to not enter if they’re not feeling well. Tickets will be refunded for anyone who decides not to attend because they feel ill, Holden said.
“Safety-wise we’re being as safe as we can,” Holden said. People can only enter the auditorium one way and traffic flow will be limited.
The organization is not requiring anyone, either contestants or spectators, to wear face coverings.
“There’s so much controversial data on masks that I personally would not require a person to wear a mask. There’s a lot of data that those masks are not safe, and there’s too much controversial data on that to me to require someone to do that,” Holden said.
The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended the use of cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus. A handful of local governments in Montana have required their use in situations where social distancing is not possible, and on Friday the Montana Hospital Association joined other groups like the state Chamber of Commerce, in encouraging their use. However, masks have become a politically divisive issue.
There are 10 Miss Montana Outstanding Teen contestants and 13 Miss Montana candidates this year, Holden said. The preliminary part of the competition is Thursday. Friday is more preliminaries and the Miss Montana Teen is crowned, and then Miss Montana is crowned Saturday.
“As far as the contest goes, we’re doing what we’ve always done,” Holden said. “There will be extra safety precautions with the girls. Every morning we’ll have a short visit, take their temperature and talk to them if they’re feeling sick. Maybe they will have a test, but we’ll ask for a doctor’s advice if they’re not feeling well and we won’t let them participate that day.”
The organization made sure host homes were aware of the coronavirus situation, Holden said. “Every one of them said ‘We’re fine.'"
Initially, Holden said she and as many of the competitors as possible attended a Zoom meeting with the Dawson County Health Board.
“That was the first question (the board was) asking (the competitors), if anybody had concerns, if anybody didn’t want to do this,” Holden said. “They all said they didn’t.”
Any event that will have more than 50 people attend needs to submit an event request to the county board of health, said Timber Dempewolf, the director of the county health department. The plan tells the board how the event will comply with distancing measures and other safety precautions.
Source: The Independent Record, www.helenair.com, July 11, 2020


Lupita Jones Denounces Mexican Government's Proposal To Ban Pageants In Mexico

Lupita Jones broke the silence after announcing that beauty pageants could be banned in Mexico, since the Chamber of Deputies' Committee on Gender Equality considers that they are a type of symbolic violence against women and cannot be considered entertainment.

Through her Instagram account, the former Miss Universe posted a video to express her annoyance at this possible measure and without regard expressed (translated into English):

I am María Guadalupe Jones Garay, National Director of Mexicana Universal and Miss Universe 1991, the first Mexican woman to win for our country on that platform of great impact worldwide. 
Since then, my life has been dedicated to generating spaces and maintaining a platform that provides Mexican women with the necessary tools that allow them to confidently, confidently and courageously face any challenge that comes their way in life, not just a contest. of beauty.
I have witnessed and actively promoted a transformation in these platforms in our country. I have always said that platforms like Miss Universe have represented the woman of every era. Over the course of 68 years, it has evolved not once, not twice, many times more to adapt to what the same woman has been demanding throughout history.
Trying to typify these platforms as Symbolic Violence seems to me completely wrong and without any support. How can training, training, training and strengthening women be considered violence against women, both internally and externally? Teach her to cultivate her self-esteem, self-confidence and security. Provide you with professional opportunities so that you can stand out in what you are passionate about. Where is the violence?
I think deputy Frida Alejandra Esparza, that it is not possible to legislate from ignorance and personal prejudice.

Then Jones praised the good things that this type of competition has for Mexican women. “I have been a witness and an active promoter of a transformation in these platforms in our country. I have always said that platforms like Miss Universe have represented the woman of every era. Over the course of 68 years, it has evolved not once, not twice, many times more to adapt to what the same woman has been demanding throughout history. Trying to typify these platforms as Symbolic Violence seems to me completely wrong and without any support. How can training, training, training and strengthening women be considered violence against women, both internally and externally? Teach her to cultivate her self-esteem, self-confidence and security. Provide you with professional opportunities so that you can stand out in what you are passionate about. Where is the violence? " Finally, Lupita reproached and condemned this measure, ensuring that more than harming women, what these kinds of skills do is empower them. "I think that deputy Frida Alejandra Esparza, that it is not possible to legislate out of ignorance and personal prejudice. #TheCourtsEmpower ." (Translated in English from the Spanish-language site El Imparcial, 7/9/2020)


Miss South Africa Organisation May Sue City Press for 'Pure Body Shaming' Article


In an unprecedented move the Miss South Africa Organisation on Sunday released a statement in which it strongly condemned an article published in a Sunday newspaper. 

According to the organisation it’s "appalled with the article that appeared in City Press" on Sunday, 14 June titled "Is She or Not?" in which the publication speculates whether reigning Miss South Africa, Sasha-Lee Olivier is pregnant or not.

The source of the speculation is based on a photo of the South African beauty that was published on Instagram showing Sasha-Lee sitting at a bar in a mustard-yellow dress. 

According to the Miss South Africa Organisation a City Press journalist contacted them on Saturday asking for comment on the "rumours" which they categorically denied. 

"The Miss South Africa Organisation replied, stating categorically that Sasha-Lee is not pregnant. It was left at that. We did not condone entering into any salacious debate about Sasha-Lee’s body given the degrading and discriminatory intentions of this article," the organisation said in a statement. 

City press wrote: "If it’s true that there is a bun in the oven, it would be the first big scandal to hit South Africa’s most popular pageant. She would have gone against the pageant rules, which are quite clear that you cannot be pregnant when you enter – or even after – you are crowned."
The publication also published comments from "former Miss SA coordinator Thobile Sithole" echoing the statement that it would go "against international standard rules".

According to the Miss South Africa organisation it has "no knowledge of any such person and can state that no-one of that name has worked on the pageant since 2013. To this end, the Miss South Africa Organisation is further appalled by the lack of vetting utilised when asking for official comment and representation from the organisation itself."


The organisation added: "In a week in which President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks out against Gender Based Violence, the Miss South Africa Organisation is horrified about the story and would like to put the following on record: Sasha-Lee Olivier is not pregnant. City Press was told this in no uncertain terms.

"The article is pure body shaming, implying that if Sasha-Lee is not pregnant then she is fat. Let us put it on the record that Sasha-Lee Olivier is a real person and is deeply hurt by what appeared.

"As part of the 2019 campaign, Sasha Lee stood as an advocate for fuller figure women and expanded on the organisation’s prior representations of beauty. We as an organisation stand strong with Sasha Lee with this understanding of beauty and do not take lightly to any form of body shaming and discrimination which is intended to disempower and humiliate her.

"The Miss South Africa Organisation will be taking legal advice and action."

Sasha-Lee personally responded to the article in a live broadcast on her Instagram on Sunday night. "I know I’m not pregnant. I know who I am. I am comfortable in my skin," she said.

Adding: "I’m speaking up not for myself but for every single person I represent on this platform. It’s not even about weight. It’s about every girl that hasn’t felt comfortable or like she does not fit in. You don’t have to fit in. Just be yourself. That’s all and that’s enough.

"I’m so disappointed in the fact that we’re supposed to be building each another up but we choose to break each other down. I hope this is a teachable moment for every single one of you. You have a responsibility to use your platform to build and lift each other up. Let’s focus on what’s important."

Channel24 reached out to City Press for comment. The publication declined to immediately respond to the statement from the Miss South Africa Organisation.

Source: News24.com, June 14, 2020