In a recent controversial development, the Miss Italy competition has declared that it will not allow transgender women to participate in its contest. Patrizia Mirigliani, the Official Patron of the contest, stated during an interview with Radio Cusano that contestants "must be a woman from birth," according to Il Primato Nazionale.
Miss Italy Pageant Bans Trans-Identified Individuals from Competing
Mirigliani, referring to the current surge in inclusivity in beauty pageants, said, "Lately, beauty contests have been trying to make the news by also using strategies that I think are a bit absurd." She further added that the Miss Italy competition has always specified in its regulation that one must be a woman from birth. The news was met with varying reactions from the public, highlighting the ongoing debate about the inclusivity of transgender individuals in various social domains.
This announcement follows just a few weeks after the Miss Netherlands contest crowned its first trans-identified male winner, Rikkie Valerie Kollé. Kollé's victory was marketed as a significant stride in inclusivity within the beauty pageant world, but most people were simply disgusted at the fact that a man was handed the crown over real women. Regardless, he will go on to represent the Netherlands in the 2023 Miss Universe contest.
Despite the Netherlands' progress, Mirigliani clarified that Miss Italy's contest rules will not change to accommodate trans-identified individuals. While Mirigliani acknowledged and appreciated the supposedly inclusive move by the Miss Netherlands contest, she remained firm on the traditional stance of the Miss Italy competition. This decision was made regardless of a 2016 UCLA School of Law Williams Institute poll, which found that Italy was one of 21 countries that wanted to ban policies that "discriminated" against trans-identified people.
The move by the Miss Italy contest starkly contrasts with the broader trend in beauty pageants. Notably, in 2012, the Miss Universe contest altered its rules to allow trans-identified men to compete. Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe contest, said, "We have a long history of supporting equality for all women and this was something we took very seriously." This enabled Angela Ponce, a man, to compete in the pageant in 2018 after winning the Miss Spain contest.
Furthermore, Anne Jakrajutatip, the trans-identified male owner of Miss Universe, delivered a speech at the Miss Universe 2023 pageant about the future of the organization, ironically championing the idea of women at the helm. Jakrajutatip, who took over the pageant just months ago, stepped onto the stage after the swimsuit segment and spoke with conviction about his vision for the Miss Universe pageant.
“Welcome to the new era of the global women's empowerment platform. Welcome to the Miss Universe organization ran by women, for all women... owned by a trans woman... We are all women!" he declared. He referenced the importance of diversity, gender equality, and social inclusion, while also sharing his experience of bullying and sexual harassment. He concluded with an invigorating call to action, rallying for the transformation of the pageant’s legacy and promoting "women's empowerment".
The Miss Italy competition's refusal to allow transgender women to compete proves that there is still common sense left in the world. No matter how many polls are taken (and misrepresented), the majority of people around the world do not believe that men should be competing in any female spaces, whether it's a beauty pageant or a swim meet. This may sound like a radical idea now, but this was what everyone thought for all of human history. Only recently were people convinced that a biological male deserved the opportunity to compete against women in a beauty pageant just because he got breast implants, threw on a pretty dress, and put a ton of makeup on. Not only is it a matter of fairness, but it's a matter of preserving the unique, feminine beauty that women are designed to bring into the world. That cannot be faked by a man, regardless of how many surgeries or face fillers he gets.
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