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Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned Miss Universe Sunday night, beating out runners-up from Colombia and Jamaica.
The 22-year-old from the Western Cape is only the second South African to win the title, following Margaret Gardiner’s win in 1978.
Despite the victory, Nel-Peters wasn’t too popular with South Africans on Twitter — namely for the July debacle in which photos emerged of her wearing gloves when posing with black children but not white.
The very same Miss SA we are congratulating.. wasn’t she the one treating Black and White kids differently? White kids with bare hands and Black kids with gloves for hygiene purposes?#MissUniverse2017#MissSouthAfrica#MissUniversepic.twitter.com/BqB7tCBAxM
— Mzu Yeko (@Gudsile) November 27, 2017
The incident caused a stir — and even inspired a social challenge — despite Nel-Peters insisting she was wearing the gloves because she was working with food.
Other South Africans were also in support of Miss Jamaica, the second runner-up, for the embrace of her natural hair.
Davina represented not only #Jamaica in the #MissUniverse but the black race. I wish she’s the one who should have won. She displayed her Afro with pride redefining the competition. Young black girls out there can feel confidence in their natural hair without whitening it. pic.twitter.com/8SCqF3o6Je
— Not Adv Ngcukaitobi (@AdvNgcukaitobi) November 27, 2017
But others weren’t accepting this notion, and respected Miss South Africa for “raising the [flag] high”.
Miss Jamaica slayed😍😍😍🔥 but now she deserves to win cause she went natural??? @DemiLeighNP went natural as well mos😂😂😂
— SiphoSihle👑 (@SihleTumani) November 27, 2017
“I may be the new Miss Universe but I will always be your Miss South Africa – we did it!” Nel-Peters wrote to Twitter.
#SouthAfrica, thank you for support and love throughout my #MissUniverse journey. I may be the new Miss Universe but I will always be your Miss South Africa – we did it! 🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦 @MissUniverse #MissUniverse2017 pic.twitter.com/u3t1tky2iT
— Demi Leigh Nel Peters (@demileighpeters) November 27, 2017