Beauty lies in the way a person projects herself rather than in considering her an object, and different people perceive beauty differently.
This explains how beauty queens with physical disabilities project themselves every bit as confidently as their able-bodied counterparts.
Masingita Masunga, founder of the Miss Confidence SA competition, laments that this competition for disabled women is maligned because contestants are considered handicapped.
"People still do not regard those with disabilities as valuable. We have to struggle for sponsorship. Sponsors sometimes promise to help but pull out at the last minute or offer T-shirts and other insulting 'prizes'. What am I supposed to do with T-shirts?"
A cerebral palsy sufferer herself, Masunga, 30, spoke to Sowetan on the eve of the 10th Miss Confidence SA pageant, which will be held at Emperors Palace tonight.
The hullabaloo emerged after the current beauty queen, Tsogo Majake, pictured, complained that she had not received all her prizes.
Majake, 23, of Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria, warns aspiring beauty queens to expect little glamour.
"Girls who are taking part must know that there are flaws. They should not expect fame. It's not all glitz and glamour," she said.
Crowned last December, Majake said she was disappointed by Masunga's empty promises.
"I have called her many times asking about my outstanding prizes. She always promised she would bring them, but nothing has happened so far," said Majake.
Majake's prizes were worth about R7000, and included a beauty spa voucher worth R1000 and clothing vouchers. Masunga admitted that Majake had not received all her prizes and "this was partly because of lack of sponsorship or prospective sponsors reneging on their promises".