THINK Mr South Africa and perfect pecs and abs you can bounce a six-pack of beers on will probably come to mind. But one finalist in the top 10 of this year’s competition looks a little different. Like a lot of South African misters – especially those who may have let themselves go a little during all-you-can-eat lockdown – he’s sporting a boep.
For many of us, the idea of entering a pageant when you don’t look like you’ve stepped offa runway would be a horrifying thought. But not for Danie Doman (25). He did it to prove a point: that bodies are beautiful in all shapes and sizes.
Yet he found himself the target of trolls who honed in on his less-than-sculpted bod. Danie entered Mr SA knowing full well he was the “shortest and fattest” of the contestants – he wanted to challenge accepted norms and inspire others.
However, he says, the level of body-shaming he’s been subjected to has been shocking. We meet Danie, a youth worker at a church in Modimolle, Limpopo, and his wife, Bianca (24), for coffee in the town shortly after the storm erupted over his well-coiffed head.
“The people who criticised my appearance are the same hypocritical people who post Bible verses and say they want South Africans to work together,” Danie says.
The shaming started when the Mr SA competition posted bare-chested pics of the 10 finalists, shortly before the final on 28 November. In the pic, Danie is relaxed and smiling, arms by his side.
And sure, there’s no six-pack but there’s not exactly a bulging boep either. If anything, he looks like a regular South African guy who enjoys a sizzling lamb chop at the braai and a tall, cold beer on a hot summer day.
But Twitter wasn’t having it. He was mocked mercilessly, told he should drop out of the competition and go eat another cheeseburger.
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