On 28 November 2017, we published the opinion piece ‘Why I Have Mixed Feelings About Miss South Africa Winning Miss Universe’ on Marieclaire.co.za. The op-ed, written by our content producer, pointed out that while Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters’ win should be celebrated, and her success fêted with pride and joy, the event was also an opportunity to point out that beauty pageants around the world still lack diverse representation.

It is clear from the comments received on our Facebook page over the past week that many readers felt we lacked respect for Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters’ triumph and the incredible achievement it represented, not only for her personally but for all of us as South Africans. Many readers also felt that we unnecessarily brought politics and race into an event that is intended to be unifying and celebratory.

The piece was never intended to minimise the sense of triumph, magic and pride we as a country felt at the crowning of Miss South Africa as Miss Universe (only the second time this has happened in the history of the pageant). To Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, we would like to reiterate our warmest, most sincere congratulations for winning the title of Miss Universe.

As a publication that prides itself on being at the centre of every conversation and whose mission it is to engage, entertain and encourage debate, we value diversity of opinion and stories – both personal and universal – that are inspiring and empowering. It is never our desire to divide or infuriate, but rather to engage positively on issues and topics that we feel are relevant.

Emilie Gambade

Group Brand Director

Associated Media Publishing