In the early half of April 2012, News headlines all over the world screamed- ‘Miss Universe pageant to allow transgender contestants’
Different reactions from various parts of the world poured in, with some expressing outrage, some commenting on its implications on the other so called ‘normal’ contestants and others commenting on the very validity of the pageant. In one of the websites that carried the news, a user commented- “The contest is already full of fake breasts, what's the big deal about one fake vagina?”
The comment and many others that followed, though sometimes hilarious enough to tickle the driest of bones, raised some poignant queries too. One reader asked if a transgender qualified why there was an age limit on the pageant. How one was related to the other is anyone’s guess and raises the question that is the entire hullabaloo because a transgender till today does not have an accepted place in society?
No one knows where they fit in?
On a different note, do you think that the reactions would be the same if the pageant authorities were to announce that the sexual preference of a contestant is not a criterion for the pageant. In other words, bi-sexual s, homosexuals and lesbians are all welcome to join the pageant, would seem like a silly announcement that need not have been made. But the same is not the case, when one talks of allowing transgender s into the contest.
Amidst the myriad reactions that pour in and the official statements that harp on promotion of equality amongst women of every type, one wonders if the officials and women world -wide would come to a consensus regarding one basic question-
"Does a beauty pageant, whether it is called Ms World OR Ms Universe, or anything for that matter, promote or help advance the cause of girls, or that of women?" If the answer is a thumping yes, maybe this move of allowing a transgender would take on a dimension that would give the pageant a different meaning altogether?
But if women world over aren’t really sure if a pageant of this sort can really make a difference in their lives, one can’t help but wonder if the pageant has reached a place where people really don’t care who wins, it’s just another means of getting a ticket to the international beauty scene, with a few film offers thrown in?