Miss SA finalists booted for having tattoos

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Miss SA 2014 finalists © Debbie Yazbek.

One would assume tattoos have become the accepted fashion style in modern day society, with celebrities and media personalities giving it a style edge. In recent years there have also been quite a number of debate both in the corporate and religious world of what image is portrayed by tattoos, especially the very prominent ones.

On Tuesday, a controversial pour of tweets hit twitter with millions of people airing their views on the unanimous decision of the Miss SA board to disqualify three of the contestants based on them having tattoos.

One of the disqualified models from Cape Town says she is ‘shocked and a little disappointed’, despite knowing the rules which were part of entering the contest but one would also wonder if there was no screening process before the models were announced as finalists.

Kelly Davids, the 26 year old model, said she had hoped that her 5cm tattoo could pass the rules of the pageant.

“I know the entry form said no visible tattoos. But my tattoo is so small and most times it can’t be seen unless my hair is tied up.

Her tattoo – a west African symbol for endurance and prosperity on the back of her neck – was spotted by organizers when her hair was tied up. Davids was disqualified from the peagent alongside Northern Cape’s Altina Vries and Port Elizabeth’s Aseza Matanzima.

just in!

The three have been replaced by Kirsten Hornby of Ruimsig in Roodepoort, Ntsiki Mkhize of Kliprivier in Midvaal, and Port Elizabeth’s Tegan Goldman. Organisers of the Miss South Africa pageant say they stand by their decision to ban three finalists because of their tattoos, as this breaks one of the competition’s long standing rules.

In an official statement, the organisers said: Three of the Top 24 semi-finalists in the Miss South Africa Pageant have been disqualified once it came to the attention of the organisers and sponsors that they had not met the criteria as stipulated on the entry form rules by having a visible tattoo. They are Kelly Davids and Altina Vries, of the Western Cape, and Aseza Matanzima of the Eastern Cape. The organisers feel it’s very unfortunate that they had to lose three beautiful young women in this way. Miss South Africa’s Claudia Henkel says although Aseza Matanzima had declared during her on-camera interview that she had a tattoo, she did not indicate that on her application form.

Henkel says the judges only learnt of this last week.

Speaking to Ukhozi FM yesterday, Matanzima claimed that during the entry process she had mentioned that she did have a tattoo and the organisers had no issues with it. But when it was time to go through to the semi-finals she was reprimanded.
Matanzima felt it was unfair that she was dismissed for a tattoo. Currently studying as a Chartered Accountant, she felt that if she can get the job done why be stopped just because she has a tattoo.

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