Mr South Africa was the number 1 trending topic on SA Twitter, but not for the reasons one would expect. The men’s national pageant became the most talked about topic in the country when their Twitter handle revealed the top 20 finalists in a tweet that has now been deleted. The response? Resounding disapproval.
Initially the comments about the contestants’ pictures generally implied that people felt they were not good looking enough to be finalists in the national competition. Actress and TV personality Khanyi Mbau tweeted:
“So these are the finalists for Mr SOUTH AFRICA? The whole country??? This is it?”
Chelsea da Gama tweeted:
“So those are really the Mr South Africa finalists? I wonder how the ones who got eliminated look”
Former Mr South Africa Armand du Plessis also chimed in, sharing that “it is sad to see how the quality of this competition has drastically declined over the past few years”.
The Mr South Africa Organisation did not remain silent in all this, and chose to clarify the criteria that had qualified the contestants into the final leg of the pageant – the main characteristic being a good heart. This took the social media conversation to a new dimension, as people began to question the disparity between the male and female versions of the pageant.
The female version of the pageant is regarded as extremely stringent with its requirements from female models, who are expected to be a certain shape and size, with no spouse, no children, and no tattoos among other factors.
Speaking on the criteria of the pageant, Mr South Africa CEO JP Robberts said “You don’t need to be a male model to be a model male”.
Much like Miss South Africa, the winner of the Mr South Africa pageant will be involved in various charity activities and project throughout their reign.