Now Miss South Africa 2019/2020, Sasha-Lee Olivier has had hand over her crown and what should have been her last shining moment as the reigning queen, was all ruined by the continued discussion over her weight. Sasha Lee body shamed again
Looking back to her reign Sasha-Lee did not have a year that was just her own. First, is the matter of having taken over the crown from the reigning Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi. When Sasha-Lee was announced as the new Miss South Africa, there were naysayers wondering why we need a “new” Miss SA when we have Zozibini. Or those commentators that did not even care who was officially Miss SA because Zozibini was always going to be their Miss SA 2019/2020.
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Once that matter was put to rest and we all believed that Sasha-Lee could now finally enjoy her reign, there was another wave criticism and speculation; her weight. In the time since Sasha-Lee came into the spotlight as a contestant, then runner-up, then Miss SA’s weight has changed. Sasha-Lee’ body has not remained the same, and factually speaking women of the same age group experience the same as the beauty queen.
However, the criticism she faced due to her weight gain was amplified because of her position in public. The matter became public discourse first in June of this year. Tweeps and trolls started to circulate the allegations that Sasha-Lee was expecting and that was the reason for the weight gain.
Is it me or Sasha Lee looks pregnant? #MissSouthAfrica2020
— Kopano❤️ (@Kopanon1) October 24, 2020
People assuming that Sasha Lee is pregnant is fatphobic af because she’s not the ideal body type that SAans have become attuned to seeing on TV.
It’s rude & disrespectful to assume that because her stomach isn’t sucked in, you’d assume that she’s expecting.
Just stop it.
— Mpho Rantao (@mpho_wallflower) October 24, 2020
At the time, Sasha-Lee did not address the rumors, but Miss SA did offer a statement regarding the issue. The statement served to the ensure that on public record that the organization was in full support of Sasha-Lee. Moreover, that her journey with her body is exactly that; her journey with her body.
The organisers of the pageant stated that, “Sasha-Lee stood as an advocate for fuller figure women and expanded on the organisation’s prior representations of beauty. We as an organisation stand strong with Sasha Lee with this understanding of beauty and do not take lightly to any form of body shaming and discrimination which is intended to disempower and humiliate her.”
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