Apple wins top modeling titles

Keegan-Lee Croy, 10, from Hanover Park, was awarded the overall ramp winner in the nine to 11-year category of the Western Cape Modelling Champion pageant.

A 10-year-old Hanover Park girl was among the winners of a different kind of beauty pageant.

Keegan-Lee “Apple” Croy, was awarded the overall ramp winner in the age nine to 11 years category of the Western Cape Modelling Champion contest. She received gold for the casual wear, evening wear and catwalk categories, as well as gold for being photogenic, and platinum for her verbal skills.

The competition was held in Bellville on Saturday July 22.

Her grandmother, Daphne Croy, said the difference between this contest and other beauty pageants, is that the competitors are not allowed to wear revealing clothes – they must be dressed in age-appropriate outfits, with no high heels, and no big earrings.

“This is the second year that this competition has been held. The idea behind it is to make schools aware that modelling must be seen as a sport or cultural activity. This will make it possible for pupils who do modelling to achieve provincial or national colours for it. Modelling requires skills, and that is the same as any other sport,” Ms Croy said.

Apple, as she is affectionately known, is no stranger to modelling. She has been crowned on numerous occasions, including being named second princess in the Miss Pre-Teen pageant.

The St Raphael’s Catholic Primary School Grade 5 pupil also does ballet at the Eoan Group School of Performing Arts.

When asked how she balances all of this, she said: “I focus on my school work first. If my ballet or modelling get in the way of my school work, I put it aside for a little while.”

Apple is a member of the RVT Modelling School in Durbanville, where she trains twice a week.

However, Ms Croy said it is not always possible for her to attend the modelling classes.

“We have to take three taxis to Durbanville, and we couldn’t do it over the past six weeks. Apple practised at home for the Western Cape Modelling Champion competition, as it was over the school holidays. When she did so well, everybody was stunned at her achievement,” Ms Croy said.

Asked how she managed to train on her own, Apple said she learnt from the mistakes she made last year.

She is also very happy that she has received so much support from her school, as well as the Eoan Group.

“I firmly believe that where you come from does not define who you can be. The support I have received has been amazing.”

And what does beauty mean to her?

“Beauty to me is self-love, kindness towards others, tenacity, honesty and loyalty. Outer beauty does not last forever.”

Ms Croy said Apple is your average 10-year-old when she is at home.

“She doesn’t really play outside, because I am paranoid with all the shootings happening here. Apple is still very child-like. She plays with her dolls when she is at home. She is a child – the pageants are just a sport.”