Gender-Bending Beauty Queen

I’m going be totally blunt and honest here. I despise beauty pageants. I remember a few of my childhood friends taking part in what I believe to be superficial and ridiculous competitions when we were younger and I remember thinking how they better have something more enduring than high cheekbones and svelte bodies to make it in the real world. Sadly, I think many of the girls who compete in these competitions are lacking in the intellect department.Since I am so anti-beauty pageant, I was shocked a few months ago when I heard that Miss Universe Organization owner, Donald Trump, in the midst of controversy and much speculation, allowed transgendered Jenna Talackova to compete in Canada’s pageant.

Talackova, 23, was one of 61 contestants. She was born a male and underwent a sex change four years ago. Talackova states that she knew she was female when she was four years old. She began hormone therapy at 14 and had sex-reassignment surgery at 19.

In the recent Miss Canada Pageant, Talackova did not win, but she did make the final 12, along with being named Miss Congeniality.Though she was not the victor of the competition, I believe that Talackova was the biggest winner in the societal fight for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered rights. Talackova proved in a long-lasting and international organization that transgendered people can be legally recognized as what they deem fit and right, that they can be held to the same standards and hold the same civil liberties as everyone else.

First comes an international organization and hopefully other associations and other countries will follow.Those that fall in the category of LGBT are just as capable, intellectual, and strong as everyone else. They are made of flesh and bones, they laugh and they love just as all humans do.

Not to get corny here, but we are all humans. We are all on this world together. Why should one person be able to have access to rights and then they turn to another person of flesh and bones and deny them the same rights? It’s a sin to me. Is this not 2012? This is not 1863! All citizens, whether black, white, brown, pink or green, they are all entitled to political and social freedom and equality.

Talackova, with her courage to fight for her right to be who she is, has furthered the cause of LGBT rights. She may not have won the beauty pageant competition, but she made progress. From pictures, she not only rocked a two-piece white bathing suit, which many girls would not be able to pull off, but she did it while wearing heels, and she recieved more publicity than whoever won the Miss Canada Paegant!
So kudos to Talackova for being a warrior in heels and, as much as he makes me want to gag, kudos to Donald Trump for allowing Talackova to strut her stuff.

Stephanie Weldy is a third-year literary journalism major. She can be reached at weldys@uci.edu.