Miss World SA Sasha-Lee Olivier joins Zozibini Tunzi in challenging beauty stereotypes

20 December 2019 - 12:46 By Toni Jaye Singer
Miss SA winner Zozibini Tunzi and runner-up Sasha-Lee Olivier. Both women have made SA proud on the world stage.
Miss SA winner Zozibini Tunzi and runner-up Sasha-Lee Olivier. Both women have made SA proud on the world stage.
Image: Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape

While Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi has been celebrated for championing natural beauty, Miss World SA Sasha-Lee Olivier has been encouraging women to love their curves.

Earlier this year, Olivier made history as one of the first "plus-sized" models to make it into the Miss SA pageant's top 16.

At the time a fierce debate raged on social media as to whether the Joburg-born beauty, who is a size 36, was actually voluptuous enough to warrant the label - to which she responded: "I see myself as my size and I own that."

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Olivier elaborated: “I’m a normal, healthy person - but the reality is, in the modelling industry specifically, if you are not ‘sample size’ you are [labelled] 'plus size' and that is 34 and up.

“I have intelligence, substance and every other necessary skill. Not having a thigh gap doesn’t mean I can’t give back to my community.”

Tunzi ultimately took the Miss SA title, but as the first runner-up Olivier was crowned Miss World SA and went on to represent our country at the Miss World pageant. She made it into the top 40 at the competition's finale last weekend.

Olivier took to Instagram to thank her fans for believing in her - and for the love and support Mzansi had shown her throughout her Miss World journey.

"I just want women to know that there’s power in embracing all that they are — whether it’s their body shape, what it is that they are passionate about, or their story," she said, adding the hashtag #BeautyBeyondSize.