HEIGHT MATTERS.

At least for Miss Earth pageant.

Deemed “too short” for the pageant that champions the welfare of the environment, Miss Earth South Africa 2017 Irini Moutzouris was disqualified from further joining the ongoing Miss Earth 2017 pageant competition here in the Philippines.

Despite possible criticisms, the Miss Earth organization sent Irini home, 13 days prior to the grand coronation night slated on November 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Irini stands 5-foot-3-inches, just two inches short to the required height of 5’5″ or 165.10 centimeters. The South African beauty queen only spent a few days in the Philippines for the preliminaries and charity events for the organization that has now become more controversial because of this decision.

Miss Earth South Africa 2017 with Filipino boys
Irini is surrounded by Filipino boys in this photo posted on Miss Earth South Africa Facebook page.
Irini with fellow green warriors from Czech Republic and Austria
Irini with fellow green warriors from Czech Republic and Austria

Though her fans are frustrated about this decision, they said they still wish Irini well as she has been a good representative of her country despite her short participation in the activities here.

Saddened by this decision, Ella Bella Leite, National Director of Miss Earth South Africa said they accept it as it is. In a statement posted on their Facebook page, Leite said, “We accept this as their prerogative and have decided to rather bring our ambassador back home to support our end-of-year programmes.”

Read the entire statement of Miss Earth South Africa below:

“The Miss Earth South Africa organization prepares to receive Irini Moutzouris, the current ‘Green Queen’, home earlier than anticipated. “Our delegate will not compete at the international event, and the decision has been made to bring her home. The international body have a different set of rules to our local programme, their event is governed by rules and requierements on height and weight, and they made the decision to not allow Irini to compete in the final leg of the competition based on the height requirement. We accept this as their prerogative and have decided to rather bring our ambassador back home to support our end-of-year programmes”, says Ella Bella Leite, National Director of Miss Earth South Africa.

She further stated, “As an organization we were aware of these regulations and we took a chance as the mavericks that we are to send our ambassador anyway. It has however not worked out and we have been denied our chance to participate any further in this year’s Miss Earth Event. The team, together with Irini, accept the decision, we understand their stance and we accept this, it was a chance we were willing to take.”

The organisation has a busy schedule as they prepare to round up the year and the focus now moves on to the next chapter of Irini’s journey, as she works nationally on the environmental campaign and in leaving a green legacy behind.

“We strongly believed in our candidate, she is an energetic and passionate advocate for the environment and for the education of young people. She was the winner of our programme in South Africa and we stand by our decision to grant her the opportunity to represent our country, organisation and environmental advocacy or the international event.” Leite further added.

As Miss Earth South Africa, Irini, as the national holder of this prestigious title, returns home to a line-up of powerful and impactful projects as the organisation continues too spearhead greening programmes and campaigns as their primary focus and objective.

Miss Earth South Africa 2017 1
Short but pretty. Miss Earth South Africa 2017 Irini smiles to the camera just like that.

We wish Irini all the best. May she become the Miss Earth her nation deserves and may she champion the welfare of the environment in her own ways. For the hell we care — anyone who has a heart for the environment could become the ambassador of Mother Earth no matter the height is. Size matters, yes. The size of the HEART matters most. Irini will forever be Africa’s Green Queen.

South Africa Green Queen
These little warriors of South Africa can’t wait for their ‘Green Queen’ to be back home.
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