In a bold move, Miss Italy beauty pageant’s official patron, Patrizia Mirigliani, has firmly stated that transgender entrants will not be allowed to compete, insisting that competitors “must be a woman from birth.” This decision stands in contrast to other beauty events that have sought media attention by including non-traditional participants.
Mirigliani, daughter of the late Miss Italy founder Enzo Mirigliani, expressed her views on Radio Cusano, denouncing the strategies employed by beauty contests to grab headlines. According to her, Miss Italy’s long-standing rules have always recognized that “beauty could undergo modifications” and that “men could become women.”
Despite this stance, polling by the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute in 2016 showed that Italians generally support transgender rights, similar to most other Western nations. Italy was among the 21 countries polled that “support policies banning discrimination against transgender people.” On a scale measuring overall support for transgender issues, Italy scored 57 out of 100, with Spain leading at 74 and Russia at the bottom with 41.
The controversy surrounding transgender participants in beauty pageants was brought into the spotlight by Rikkie Valerie Kolle, a 22-year-old transgender model who recently won the Miss Netherlands beauty pageant.
Kolle used her platform to advocate for transgender rights and better access to gender-affirming healthcare.
While Kolle’s victory was celebrated by many, it also sparked online backlash, with hurtful messages targeting her. Despite the negative comments, Kolle remains steadfast, using her newfound platform to raise awareness about transgender issues.
As beauty pageants continue to evolve and navigate discussions on diversity and inclusion, the contrasting decisions of Miss Italy and Miss Netherlands highlight the ongoing debates over transgender representation in the industry. The transgender movement has made significant strides in American culture, impacting various institutions. It has triggered debates and pushback regarding acceptance and inclusivity across society.
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