Miss South Africa 'plus size' finalists weigh in on the 'plus size' debate and what the term really means

2019-07-16 11:51
Beulah Baduza and Sasha-Lee Olivier. (Photo: Suppl
Beulah Baduza and Sasha-Lee Olivier. (Photo: Supplied)

Cape Town -  Miss South Africa has announced this year's top 16 finalists, but the reveal has been overshadowed by the modeling industry's definition of "plus size."

Finalist Beulah Baduza and Sasha-Lee Olivier, who have been labelled as plus size models, have been discussed extensively on social media, with many users not perceiving them as plus size. 

The debate has put a spotlight on the beauty standards in the modelling and pageant arena, prompting Miss South Africa CEO, Stephanie Weil to tackle the issue on eNCA.

ALSO READ: Miss SA is more diverse than ever with first plus size and openly queer finalist

Together with Beulah and Sasha-Lee, Stephanie unpacked the recent Twitter debate and their experiences in the modelling world. 

"In the modelling industry, if you're anything other than a sample size, or size zero, you get dubbed a plus size model.  So it's not that we dubbed them. It's how they are identified and by no means has anything to do with being over-weight or anything like that. It's a model term," Stephanie explained. 

Beulah, who is a professional model, added that when you attend castings for long enough, you start seeing yourself as big. "It's reflective of society and the modelling industry as a whole. It makes girls feel that they are bigger than what they are."

Beulah hopes that speaking about the issue will "open the doors for girls like us, who have been made to feel like they don't belong in those spaces because we do."

Sasha-Lee also took time to breakdown what the term "plus size" means within the modelling industry, society and for oneself. 

ALSO READ: Miss SA announces changes to the pageant format - you will now have a say who wins!

"I consider myself as my size," says Sasha-Lee, who added that she hopes that by being on the show she can empower woman to experience power in embracing who they are. 

All three ladies on the panel emphasised the importance about creating dialogue about controversial terms used in the beauty industry, and how the Miss South Africa pageant encourages healthy bodies and minds.