Sasha-Lee Olivier is ready to defy the world’s standards about beauty
The Miss South Africa first runner-up has been announced as the country’s representative for the Miss World pageant.
Zozibini Tunzi was crowned the overall winner of the pageant on Women’s Day and will complete in Miss Universe.
Sasha-Lee, who is considered a “plus-size” model, is using her platform to let women know that their beauty will never be determined by their shape and body size.
When she was announced as a Miss SA top 16 finalist in July, many applauded organisers for adding some much-needed diversity to the competition.
But not everyone was impressed that Sasha-Lee was labelled plus-size, saying it sent the wrong message to millions of average-sized women who look just like her.
Sasha-Lee told eNCA in an interview that she considered her size “my size”.
The 26-year-old made it very clear from the get-go that she wants to help women embrace who they are regardless of what the world thinks.
Her participation in the Miss World pageant won’t be any different
“To the women who don’t fit the pre-assumed template placed upon them by a subjective society. A template that dictates narrow standards regarding what it means to be beautiful. This moment for them, is evidence that they have been and always will be enough the way that they are,” she wrote on Instagram on Monday.
Sasha-Lee added that she hopes to be an agent of change.
“… beauty never was and never will be a body shape, but rather what you put out into the world. I may stand as one, but I stand for each and every single one of you on the next leg of my journey,” she said.
The Miss World pageant has never had a plus-size winner – could Sasha-Lee be the one to make history?
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Wish Fulfilled🙋❤ On August 9th, we celebrated the resilience of women and recognised our responsibility to build on the legacy of those who have walked before us. Furthermore, our duty as a nation, to restore the dignity of our sisters and ensure future generations come into an environment that is safe, one where everyone has an equal place at the table. Although placing 1st RU means a lot to me- it means so much more : To the woman who is likely to succumb to the aftermath of trauma, the woman about to give up- because this moment for her, signifies hope. It means so much more: To the little girl who feels alone, unsafe in a place that is meant to be home- she will now know that she will find a safe place in me It means that much more: To the women who don’t fit the pre-assumed template placed upon them by a subjective society. A template that dictates narrow standards regarding what it means to be beautiful. This moment for them, is evidence that they have been and always will be enough the way that they are. That beauty never was and never will be a body shape, but rather what you put out into the world. I may stand as one, but I stand for each and every single one of you on the next leg of my journey ❤ To my family and friends, words can’t express my gratitude. Thank you for encouraging me to walk in my truth. To the Miss South Africa Organisation, Sun International, LFP, and all affiliated sponsors. When I started this process, skimming through the mission statements- I saw key words like: agents of change, diversity, inclusive, the empowered women- I knew then that the women of South Africa would be in good hands. It has been an honour and a privilege to be an instrument in your vision. I am so proud to have had the opportunity to partake in a year where 16 beautiful and unique women were taken as the were. Our presence on a platform such as this brings about the idea of possibilities- a future reimagined for little girls and women alike. In this, we realise just how much this was never about us to begin with, but rather about those who we represent. Lastly, to our Queen. You are so deserving of this- you better mince girl 😉🙋❤