Miss Italy Beauty Pageant Faces Backlash As Transgender Competitors Barred From Participation

Miss Italy Beauty Pageant Faces Backlash As Transgender Competitors Barred From Participation

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In the aftermath of Rikkie Valerie Kollé’s historic victory as the first transgender woman to win Miss Netherlands, the Miss Italy pageant has sparked controversy by prohibiting transgender contestants from competing in the beauty pageant. The contest’s Official Patron, Patrizia Mirigliani, stated that competitors “must be a woman from birth,” reiterating a long-standing rule in the pageant’s rules.

Mirigliani expressed concern about the recent trend of beauty pageants using inclusivity as a publicity strategy in an interview with Radio Cusano. “Recently, beauty pageants have been attempting to make headlines by employing strategies that I believe are somewhat absurd. Miss Italia, on the other hand, will not jump on the glittery bandwagon of trans activism,” he said, according to Google translation.

The rules of the competition have always required contestants to be female from birth, anticipating that beauty and gender may change over time. “Tattooed girls, with piercings and extensions participate in our contest,” Mirigliani said, emphasising the pageant’s preference for simplicity. It’s all part of the new way of talking about women, but we try not to make everything too easy in order to emphasise the aesthetics. Excessiveness is bad.”

Meanwhile, Rikkie Valerie Kollé, who will represent the Netherlands in the upcoming Miss Universe global competition in El Salvador, has been bombarded with hateful comments in the aftermath of her historic victory. Undaunted by the negative response, Kollé stated, “I thought we were really accepting… in the Netherlands, but the hate comments show the other side of our society. I hope that serves as a wake-up call.” She further said that she prefers to focus on the positive aspects of her journey and her true identity. 

Reflecting on the unjustified insults and vitriol she has received for being true to herself, Kollé expressed her determination to show the world her authentic self and transgender story. If the 22-year-old wins the Miss Universe pageant, she will be the first transgender woman to hold the coveted title in the pageant’s illustrious 94-year history.

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