Johannesburg - Young girls and women need to be themselves and not try to emulate anyone, Miss World 2014 Rolene Strauss said on Saturday.
"You don't have to fit into a certain box to be someone," she said at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg shortly after arriving back from London.
"Don't try to be someone else. Create your own box."
She said people should not starve themselves in a bid to try and fit into a perception created by society.
Strauss said she wanted people to aspire for inner beauty.
"I would like for young girls not to look at my face and body but for the beauty within. I want to show them the inner beauty," she said.
Strauss said that during her tenure as Miss World she would inform the world of the attributes that made South Africa a wonderful country.
The 22-year-old from Volksrust in Mpumalanga, was crowned Miss World 2014 in London on December 14.
She said a sense of unity, ubuntu and giving would form an integral part of her year.
"I want to leave a legacy of giving everything I have: my time, my life and my love," the Free State University medical student said.
South Africans from all walks of life were at the airport to give Strauss a heroine's welcome.
She was met by loud cheers and ululation when she was walked out of the arrivals terminal.
Flags, banners and placards were held aloft as she waved to the crowd.
Strauss walked around after her speech and signed autographs for the crowd.
The last time a South African won the title was in 1974 when Anneline Kriel was crowned Miss World.
Before her, Penny Coelen-Rey, was, in 1958, the first South African to be lauded as the most beautiful woman in the world by the pageant judges at the time.
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