What could’ve been a fantastic photo-op for Miss Miss South Africa, turned into a polarizing debate, when the beauty pageant queen sparked outrage after photos emerged of her wearing gloves while visiting an orphanage for HIV-positive children in Johannesburg.
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, posted a photo of herself wearing white medical gloves while eating sandwiches and soup with a group of black children. The image’s caption? “Winter is for yummy soup, fresh bread rolls and cozy blankies supporting @themaslowhotel’s#wintersoupdrive.”
Cue Black Twitter, who quickly pointed to the disparity between the way Miss South Africa treated white children (and, well dogs) and black children during photo sessions.
And we say this because we can spot the difference here. White children are cleaner and need no gloves, isn’t it? pic.twitter.com/OdeWiG6euq
— Isaac Mangena (@Ice_Izo) July 5, 2017
Miss South Africa quickly responded to the Twitter clap back and posted a video explaining that the photo does not represent malicious intentions. Still, Black Twitter just wasn’t having it.
To everyone asking about the gloves, I truly hope that you’ll hear my heart and understand that it came from a place of wanting to do good. pic.twitter.com/Pl5amM2gEM
— Demi-LeighNel-Peters (@DemiLeighNP) July 5, 2017
Hey boo..it gets hard to believe you.. pic.twitter.com/NIKZEWIBzy
— Moclasssy (@MoClasssy) July 5, 2017
And babes in this picture there is no food but the gloves are on. Noh man Demi my darling this is an L for you yaz.😒 pic.twitter.com/fvOlBuIKD0
— Fave Yakho (@Tlatsovo_) July 5, 2017
Nevertheless, some are coming to Nel-Peters’s defense, pointing out the fact that she can be found in multiple photos with black children, without any gloves.
So she was not racist here? You guys need to stop flying with popular opinions. Some of us aren’t even contribute to our communities but…. pic.twitter.com/9BsYZiBSFZ
— Mbulelo Mbali (@MbuleloMbali) July 5, 2017
— Danielle Biggar (@danidaemuse) July 8, 2017
Whether or not the photo represents the implicit bias or racism of Miss South Africa — or simply is being taken out of context, one thing is for sure: the response to these photos proves that racial tensions remain at an all-time high in the African nation.