South Africa is swimming in beauty pageants and controversy over the prior.
Twitter users from the African nation have been a buzz in the past few days after the announcement of the top 20 men in this year’s Mr South Africa competition.
The competition is meant to be a search for the perfect ambassador for South Africa. According to the official website, this national representative is meant to have the characteristics of excellence, integrity, professionalism, and compassion. But, the organization may want to put as much effort in their representation of this representative, for their latest attempt has left all 20 men as laughingstocks to the rest of the country.
Last week, a now-deleted tweet was posted on the official Mr South Africa Twitter page announcing the 20 finalists for their year’s competition. Many internet users mocked the included photo. They say it looks like it belongs to a Crimewatch release.
Mr South Africa top 20 😂 I don't know the crime but they did something. pic.twitter.com/8QmUmQkFNS
— Noire (@Ovayomonti) April 25, 2019
Mr. South Africa: Here are your top 20 contestants
South Africa: pic.twitter.com/F3YVxgn3PK
— Pedi Kueen (@Kueen_D) April 25, 2019
The sad reality is that the contestants for Miss South Africa are judged so much harder than Mr South Africa. This is a pure example of what woman have to go through everyday where they always have meet certain standards in society. #MrSouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/k6xwhaWkPG
— Thembi Thembinkosi/Mzingisi (@Sobantu_Nqayi) April 25, 2019
This Mr South Africa top 20 list looks like something Crimewatch would release. Only ONE guy looks remotely cute.
— Sthabile Mbonambi (@just__melanated) April 24, 2019
— Eazy Ed🌐 (@TheEazyEd) April 25, 2019
So those are really the Mr South Africa finalists? I wonder how the ones who got eliminated look. pic.twitter.com/mcKBH7YHMF
— #BlackLivesMatter 🤎 (@ChelseaDagama) April 25, 2019
While South African Twitter users are mocking the Mr South Africa, the country is also hosting another important male pageant this week.
The Mr Gay World contest is currently underway in Cape Town, South Africa. The annual competition hosts male representatives from several nations around the world to find one man to represent gay men internationally.
While the rest of South Africa is upset with the men hoping to represent them, Chris Emmanuel is working hard to do the same as Mr Gay South Africa.
“I believe that through Mr Gay World, which is not just a pageant but a platform for LGBTIQ+ people who are voiceless, I can help my fellow citizens who are LGBTIQ+ people to be heard. We are battling with our constitution to decriminalize the issue of same sex practices.”
The Mr Gay World competition is being hosted in South Africa for the fourth time in the last 8 years after Hong Kong pulled out at the last minute due to the Chinese government clamping down on LGBTQ functions.
As such, this is a great opportunity for South Africa to represent itself as a place of LGBTQ-inclusivity. That said, the country has a spotty relationship with the LGBTQ community. While events like this are often held here, there are multiple instances of anti-LGBTQ violence.
But, the competition will continue on until May 4th, so there’s plenty of time for Emmanuel and the country to change that public image.