Two biological males have won their country’s Miss Universe pageant. They will go on to compete for the title of Miss Universe.
Two Not-So-Unlikely Winners
Two transgender females made recent headlines when each won the Miss Universe pageant in their respective countries.
The Lucky Winners
Marina Machete just won the Miss Portugal 2023 contest in Portugal, and Rikkie Valerie Kolle won the Miss Netherlands contest back in July. Both are biological men who transitioned to women.
The Miss Universe pageants have witnessed a significant shift with the recent ownership change of the iconic competition. Anne Jakrajutatip, a trans woman and successful businesswoman from Thailand, has taken the reins, marking a historic moment for the pageant.
A Glamorous Legacy
Miss Universe, a beauty pageant that has captivated audiences since 1952, is renowned for its glamorous contestants and elaborate ceremonies.
Historically, the competition has included segments such as personality interviews and the evening gown and swimsuit rounds, where contestants showcase their poise and style.
A Change in Ownership
The Miss Universe pageant, once owned by former U.S. President Donald Trump, has undergone a significant transformation. Anne Jakrajutatip became its first non-American, transgender woman owner.
Anne Jakrajutatip’s Vision
Anne Jakrajutatip, a prominent media conglomerate owner in Thailand, aims to redefine Miss Universe by emphasizing women’s empowerment through changes in the competition.
Anne’s Personal Connection
Anne’s personal journey as a transgender woman and her experiences with discrimination fueled her passion for change within the pageant industry.
From Home Videos to Media Empires
Anne’s early fascination with global content led her to build her media empire, JKN Global, which includes CNBC Thailand and other businesses.
An Unexpected Acquisition
In 2022, JKN Global purchased the struggling Miss Universe organization for $20 million, promising to revitalize its brand.
Expanding the Miss Universe Brand
Anne plans to diversify the Miss Universe brand, starting with products like Miss Universe mineral water and fashion apparel, leveraging its global following.
Anne believes beauty in the Miss Universe context extends beyond physical appearance and embraces transformational leadership.
Inclusivity at the Forefront
Anne has opened the competition to married, pregnant, and divorced women to promote inclusivity, breaking traditional pageant norms.
The Controversial Swimsuit Round
While Anne aims to retain the swimsuit competition, she intends to present it differently to avoid objectifying women.
Challenging Beauty Standards
The pageant will now embrace diverse beauty standards, acknowledging that beauty comes in all sizes and forms.
End of an Era
The ownership shift of Miss Universe under Anne Jakrajutatip marks the end of an era for the iconic pageant.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / HBRH. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.