Once again, TikTok has sent us searching for the bizarre. This time, a half-naked man dressed as a protea. One South African TikTokker recently created a clip about the Mister Global pageant, and so, our quest began. Yes, men can and do compete in beauty pageants and this one, in particular, is all about repping your country.
Model, lifestyle blogger and vlogger, Ruan Scheepers, proudly represented South Africa on stage this year in March.
The Mister Global pageant has men from 33 different countries travel to Mahasarakham, Thailand, to compete for the title. Similar to female beauty pageants, it’s made up of several different events, with the most anticipated category being the “National Costume” segment. Cue half-naked protea.
Scheepers shared his Mister Global journey on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
Keeping things light-hearted, the local TikTokker captions the post “What in the flying fairy f*k ? I stand by the outfit tho – totally would wear that to AfrikaBurn”.
Ending off the video, the creator says “don’t get me wrong, I am obsessed with the fit. I’m just once again questioning our country’s choices”.
The Top 5 looks (South Africa, unfortunately, didn’t make the cut):
One user went on to comment on TikTok: “The South African is my boyfriend ?♥️??? btw [by the way], he loves your video! He laughed so hard.” The comment was signed off with an affectionate “x”.
Other users have taken to the official Mister Global Facebook page to share their thoughts:
- “I like that he went all in though, that is to be respected.”
- “Me, a fellow South African, looks at pic: oh no, this man looks like a fairy.”
- “SA has some of the coolest traditional wear in the world. Pitty people couldn’t see it here.”
- “He looks like a blooming flower! It’s beautiful, even if I don’t quite understand the significance.”
- “I will let it go, but we could do better.”
- “It represents the King protea. Our national flower!”
- “South Africa’s beautiful protea flower. He looks stunning.”
- “He looks fairy cute … I mean very, very cute.”
- “What the pink fairy heck is this!”
- “Wow! My favourite flower! I absolutely love it!”
Without further ado, the costume in question:
Before making your final judgment, this is what the costume represents, as shared by Scheepers:
“In the words of South African President Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa: “Gender-based violence is a male problem. So men need to step up and fight South Africa’s shameful scourge.”
Between July 2021 and November 2021, 9556 women in South Africa were victims of sexual assault, a drastic 7% more than the previous year.
Of the nearly 73,000 assault cases reported during this period, more than 13,000 were domestic violence-related. The rate of child murders has climbed by nearly a third compared with the previous reporting period.
These statistics are shameful. We are in the grip of a relentless war being waged on the bodies of women and children that, despite our best efforts, shows no signs of abating.
I oftentimes speak about gender-based violence and femicide, and as I have previously said, it is not all men, but all women. All women have at some point been scared, intimidated,know or threatened. All women know someone or knows of someone who has been affected by GBV. And sadly, has been a victim themselves.
Not only throughout the Mr. Global pageant but throughout my entire life, I strive to lead by example and be exemplary in my actions.
My national costume represents the King Protea, South Africa’s national flower. Embracing both the feminine and masculine.
I want to encourage all men to be better and do better and empower all women by providing them with a place they are safe and free to live the life of their dreams.
At the end of the day, a king can’t be a king without the strength of his queen.
Today I represent the women of my country. You are seen, you are heard and I will not stop until you are safe.”
Whether or not the costume is for you, we have to take a moment to celebrate the man wearing it. Thank you for putting yourself out there and representing South Africa on a global stage.
“Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success. BIG SHOUTOUT TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED ME IN THIS JOURNEY!” Scheepers said on Instagram.
Picture: David Ryo / Mister Global Facebook