The reigning Miss SA, Tamaryn Green, 23, of Paarl proved that beauty pageants are no longer about slim bodies and flashing pearly white smiles to convince the judges after she exchanged her medical coat for beautiful designer gowns and the crown.
Last year, Adè van Heerden, also a medical doctor and an officer in the army, went from scrubs to the crown when she took over the Miss SA title from Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who won Miss Universe last November.
Green, a sixth-year medical student at UCT, is the latest doctor to prove that pageants are not just about a pretty face.
She admits she is equally passionate about health and beauty after she won the hearts of South Africans last month by winning the pageant.
Following a gruelling round of judging, Green won over the judges with her humility, hard-working nature and compassionate heart.
She admits that hearing her name being called was a dream come true.
Since her reign on May 27, Green’s diary has been jammed with TV appearances, radio interviews and press conferences. She already has South Africans mesmerised by her stance on social and women’s issues - promising to make South Africans proud.
For the first time in its 60 years of existence, this year’s pageant’s 12 finalists were narrowed down to the top five and then the top two.
Green was also given the title of being Miss South Africa Universe and the East London-born Thulisa Keyi walked away with the crown of Miss South Africa World.
We caught up w ith Green, who said she still feels butterflies about her new title, to find out more about who she is and what we can expect during her year of reign.
Who is Tamaryn Green?
I am 23 years old from Paarl and currently a sixth-year medical student at UCT. I am passionate about health and education and hope to contribute to improving these aspects of our country throughout my year of reign as Miss SA.
How did you get involved in beauty pageants?
I’ve always been encouraged by friends and family to participate in pageantry and after my first pageant, I came to love it.
What does your current title mean to you?
It is a blessing. A gift from God. An opportunity for me to make a positive difference in the world.
How has the title changed your life?
In a literal sense, it has been a busy past few weeks attending interviews, talk shows and many other events. It has shown me a whole new world that I have never been exposed to and I am loving it.
It has given me a voice that can be heard and with that new opportunities. The title allows me to have an influence on a larger scale and that is amazing.
What do you enjoy the most about your title so far?
Meeting new people and everything that comes with that. From the funny to the more serious person. I am learning new things every day through my interactions.
How do you think beauty pageants have evolved in the past years?
These pageants no longer focus solely on beauty, but consider the personality, intelligence and passion of the women who participate. They look for a well-rounded winner who can be a great role model for young women.
Beauty pageants open up doors for any of the ladies who participate and assists in developing confidence and growth.
What are some of the common myths about beauty pageants?
That it’s only about beauty and very superficial.
And what is the life of a medical student like?
Busy, but simple. There is a constant routine of mostly studying and sleeping, to be honest.
Whenever there is free time, medical students are sure to make the most of it. As busy as it is, it is very rewarding. Once you’ve reached that point when you are actually able to help heal another person, there is no greater feeling.
Why did you study medicine?
As a young girl, I wanted to be a doctor as it was always my dad’s dream. I always had the passion to help others and medicine allowed me to do this. As I started studying I learnt that I loved every aspect of it and knew I belonged in the medical industry.
How are you planning on using the combination of medicine and your title in the future?
I’d love to incorporate medicine and health in my projects or campaigns that I will initiate as Miss SA 2018.
What can we expect in the future from you?
You can expect me to be a Miss SA who serves the people of my country. Someone who will do her best at representing South Africa for the strong, diverse and beautiful country that it is.