Ané Oosthuysen

From a very young age, I have always known that my passion and purpose is to live a life that is designed to serve others. By combining this passion with my determination to make my voice heard, I was motivated to enter Miss South Africa 2023 for the second time. Growing up, I faced challenges related to bullying and not feeling adequate enough - specifically, being bullied about my height. Being one of the tallest people in school was extremely tough, and as a result I would constantly slouch and try to make myself smaller so that I could fit in. It has taken me several years in my adulthood to work through this and several other challenges, and despite having access to resources now, I see the struggle of dealing with these challenges in the youth of today - they simply do not have access to resources, tools, or empathy from those around them to cope with their own issues. By utilising my knowledge and studies in psychology, I know that if these issues are not addressed and dealt with at a young age, it can cause a severe impact on them when they are older, ultimately affecting their adulthood. The powerful platform Miss South Africa provides, will enable me to educate and empower the youth of South Africa on a much larger scale than I am doing right now. My mission would be to visit as many schools as possible and talk about my struggles and give the students actionable steps and resources to deal with bullying and other related issues. I would love the assistance from the Miss South Africa Organisation to help me set up my own foundation. This foundation would focus on the children and give them, as well as teachers and parents, actionable tools and resources to help work through bullying and help in following their dreams and aspirations.

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L’Oréal makes me walk my worth by allowing me to embrace my uniqueness and to unapologetically show up as just as I am. I can be confident in knowing that I am enough and by believing this I can ultimately walk into my destiny.

Ané Oosthuysen
What qualities should a woman possess to make a notable difference in the world?

A woman who is honest, trustworthy, self-confident, compassionate, and 100% her authentic self can make a notable difference in the world.

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What do you think is the biggest problem facing young people today?

The prevalence of bullying, both physically and within digital spaces. As a primary school teacher, I have noticed the rise of bullying in digital spaces, as social media is being used by younger children more frequently, as well as the pressure to live up to society's expectations seen through various media and cultures. Both factors play a significant role in a person's mental health, and it is important to educate them on the long-term consequences. It can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety. In South Africa, this is heightened by our various deep-rooted socio-economic and cultural factors that can facilitate bullying behaviours and a feeling of despair and shame when trying to meet society's expectations. As an advocate, I believe that it is crucial to address these issues through education, providing tools and resources, and promoting empathy amongst our youth. By fostering a healthy environment that promotes inclusivity, respect, kindness, and allowing people to follow their desired path in life, we can create a safer and more harmonious society.

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Who are your local and international female role models and why?

I don’t really have specific role models. The people around me who complete daily tasks and live their lives influence me to live a better life and inspire me to be the best version of myself. No matter who I meet, I carry a lesson I have learnt from them, no matter how big or small the lesson may be. But, if I had to narrow it down, locally, it would be Rolene Strauss as she inspires me to keep a close relationship with God and she is not afraid to talk about her beliefs. Her soft, yet firm approach on guiding others is inspiring and this relates to my belief that the world could use more empathy. She also showed me that it is possible to achieve anything you set your mind to, all you need is the will and belief to do so. My international role model would be Selena Gomez. Growing up and watching her through the years, she seems to always be so authentic with her fans. She does not shy away from being open about her mental health struggles, her fight with lupus and her body image. She inspires me to shy away from overly edited photos and to just be myself on social media. Not only that, but her love and care for her charity work is truly inspiring. 

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What is your message to young girls and young women in South Africa?

To believe in themselves and embrace their uniqueness. Never underestimate the power that they hold within them and their ability to create change, inspire others and make a difference in the world. Their worth is not determined by appearance or external validation, but by humility, passion, kindness and intelligence. 

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