The Miss Universe Pageant is continuing to make waves as it’s reportedly featuring two transgender contestants for the first time in its history.
The news comes after 23-year-old flight attendant Marina Machete was crowned Miss Portugal last week, making her the second transgender contestant for this year’s pageant. Machete also made history by becoming the first trans woman to be crowned Miss Portugal, as per Pink News.
In July, Rikkie Kollé became the first transgender contestant for Miss Universe 2023 after she won Miss Netherlands. She, too, also made history by becoming the first transgender to be crowned Miss Netherlands.
And we fucking love to see it!
About two weeks ago, before Machete was crowned, the official Miss Portugal YouTube account uploaded a video where Machete talked about how her occupation as a flight attendant opened her eyes to how the world treats people who are transgender and how she uses her platform to advocate for trans people.
“As a trans woman, I’ve been through many obstacles along the way,” she began.
“Fortunately and especially with my family, love proved to be stronger than ignorance.
“[Unfortunately] this is a big issue that we’re seeing in our society lately. Rising levels of transphobia and intolerance are alarming worldwide.
Machete praised the Miss Universe Organisation, saying it was “heartwarming” that it’s inclusive and “breaking boundaries”.
Back in 2018, Spain’s Ángela Ponce became the first trans contestant to compete in the infamous pageant, but unfortunately, she did not advance to the final round. Arielle Keil also made history in 2020 when she became the first transgender woman to win Miss Intercontinental New Zealand.
In a statement to CNN, the Miss Universe Organisation said: “Trans women are women, full stop. We are here to celebrate women, full stop. This has been true for more than a decade, and we’re proud to have made this change very early on, compared to other programs.”
According to the publication, the organisation said it is “always evolving” by updating entry rules, such as allowing married and divorced women, pregnant women and women with children to enter the pageant in the last two years. CNN also reported that organisers are gunning to remove the age limit of entry — which is currently open to anyone who is 28 years and under.
“Starting next year, every adult woman in the world will be eligible to compete to be Miss Universe,” the statement added, as per CNN.
As someone who secretly fawns over this event (especially the national costume category) I am hoping that this year’s Miss Universe Pageant will feature more inclusivity and diversity. I also hope that this truly breaks the fucked beauty standards that are currently out there in the world.
As Hayley Williams once sang for Paramore: “Things are looking up, oh, finally.”
And with Miss Portugal and Miss Netherlands, things are really looking up!