In the past, beauty pageants were all about the European beauty standards, from judging who’s the slimmest woman with the longest legs to who has the most glittering smile and straight posture.
However, a lot has changed as they now represent resilient women who have a positive impact in their societies.
A flight attendant transgender woman, Marina Machete (28), made history when she won Miss Portugal 2023, making her the first transgender woman in her country to enter and win the title.
Marca reports that Machete’s win was a game-changer because not only did she look gorgeous on stage, but she also caught the attention of the viewers when she opened up about finally living the dream of participating in a beauty pageant.
Winning the title put Machete in another position as she’ll be participating in the Miss Universe pageant next month.
However, she won’t be the only transgender woman contestant, as you can imagine. Miss Universe is a big platform open to pageant title holders from all over the world.
Rikkie Valerie Kolle, Miss Nederland (2023), who is also a transgender woman, will be participating in Miss Universe 2023.
She was crowned Miss Nederland in July this year, thus making her the first transgender woman to win the title.
“I'm so proud and happy I can't even describe it. Making my community proud and showing it can be done. 🏳️ ️️And yes, I’m trans, and I want to share my story, but I’m also Rikkie, and that’s what matters to me.
“Did this on my own and loved every moment of it,” said Kolle.
According to Miss Universe, 79 contestants will participate in the pageant set to take place in El Salvador on November 18.
One of the contestants is South Africa’s very own Bryoni Natalie Govender, Miss SA 2023 first runner up.