Business Insider Edition

A male beauty pageant had some wild national costumes – and South Africa’s is not the worst

Business Insider SA
 Oct 02, 2019, 10:23 AM
Courtesy of Mister Global
  • The Mister Global male beauty pageant was held on September 26 in Thailand.
  • Like Miss Universe, Mister Global contestants participate in a National Costume Show, an event that showcases clothing meant to represent each contestant's home country.
  • Out of the 36 participants, South Africa's costume was not the worst.
  • Myanmar took home the prize for this year's National Costume Show, whilst Mister Korea won Mr Global.
  • For more stories go to

As any beauty pageant fan knows, the best part of the competition is the National Costume Show - a segment designed to showcase clothing that honours and celebrates contestants' home countries.

Every year, outfits seem to get increasingly complicated, ornate, or simply engineered to go viral.

This year's Mister Global, an annual male beauty pageant founded in 2014, was no exception. South Africa was represented by Marcus Max Karsten, whose ambiguous tribal-inspired chest piece left locals scratching their heads.

While many took to Twitter to express their confusion at his outfit, which one user labelled as a 'left-over Afropunk outfit...

... it was not the worst of the 36 participants.

See our favourite costumes from this year's entrants.

On September 26, the international male beauty pageant, Mister Global, took place.

The US was represented by Branden Cruz.

Much like Miss Universe, Mister Global has a national costume portion of the show.

Mister Nepal this year is Aryan Sitaula.

It's a time for each contestant, or "Inspiring Gentleman," to showcase clothing that honours and celebrates their home country.

Manuel Duarte's costume was inspired by the ancient Mayan civilisation.

Or to rock the colours of their country's flag.

Mister Cuba 2019 is Rubert Manuel Arias Solozábal. This was the first year Cuba was represented in the pageant.

The costumes range from simple...

Mister Sweden 2019 is Sebastian Jonsson.

... To extremely ornate, like Guam's entry this year.

According to Facebook, Jonny Onedera's look was inspired by the Guam kingfisher, a type of bird native to the island.

Japan's contestant used a traditional parasol as part of his outfit.

Kodai Hata represented Japan this year at Mister Global.

The Swiss outfit looks like the robes that professional boxers wear before a fight, but featuring the Swiss flag.

Kenan Murseli, aka Mister Switzerland, was the third runner-up at the 2019 pageant.

This year's overall winner was South Korea's representative, 23-year-old Jong Woo Kim.

Kim is a police administration student and model, according to Missosology.

According to the pageant's spokesperson, this year's pageant raised money for an organisation that takes care of elephants in Thailand, where Mister Global was held this year.

"We are true on our advocacy on Environmental Awareness and charity cause," spokesperson Kitti Kamjunsa told Bored Panda.

Thailand's costume was incredibly ornate.

Thailand is represented this year by Jeerawat Vatchasakol.

"The aim of Mister Global is to promote environmental awareness, and we have been promoting this cause ever since we started in 2014," said spokesperson Kitti Kamjunsa.

The winner automatically becomes a Global Goodwill Ambassador.

Mister Haiti 2019 is Tcholo Medastin. His costume is "a fantasy that pays tribute to the ancient African empire known as Nubia, a town of high artistic sensibility, wealth and culture".

While Mister Korea won Mister Global, the winner of the costume portion was Mister Myanmar.

Mister Myanmar, Thiha Kyaw, wore a costume designed by Phyo Pyae.

Indonesia's dragon-inspired outfit was nothing short of eye-catching.

Herman Yosef was crowned Mister Global Indonesia back in April.

As was South Africa's tribal-inspired chest-piece.

South Africa was represented this year by Marcus Max Karsten.

Mister Portugal's costume probably wouldn't turn too many heads in a crowd of hipsters.

His hat ties it all together.

Unlike the Dominican Republic's outfit — he looks ready for battle.

Braulio Encarnación, Mister Dominican Republic, was the fourth runner-up.

Egypt's competitor looks like he belongs among the pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

This year's Mister Egypt, Adam Hussein, tied his look together with an ankh-adorned headpiece. The ankh is an ancient Egyptian symbol for life.

Mister Sri Lanka's giant golden headpiece is making us envious.

Maduranga Dilshan represented Sri Lanka.

Mister Global is one of 10 "Global Beauties Grand Slam" pageants, alongside Miss Universe, Miss World, and Mr. World.

Here's a complete list of the Grand Slam pageants.

The pageant first took place in 2014, making it a newer competition. Compare that to Miss America, which started in 1921.

Togo was represented by Kwassy Adjamah this year.

Even though it's new, the contestants don't come to play — these costumes take time and money to create, and can be quite heavy.

Chace Cheng was named Mister Hong Kong 2019. His costume was another dragon-inspired ensemble.

Just ask Mister Peru.

Mister Peru seems to be channeling the ancient Inca people, who lived in Peru through the late 1500s.

Though some countries take a more laid-back approach, like Tunisia.

Houssem Saïdi, Mister Tunisia, was close to taking home the Mister Global title. He was the first runner-up.

Poland's representative is wearing traditional Polish folk clothing.

Michal Grudzien was named Mister Poland 2019.

(Compiled by Bombi Mavundza, with reporting by Gabbi Shaw.)

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