Monday, April 9, 2012

Transsexual Miss Universe Discriminated Against

The 23-year old contestant Jenna Talackova was disqualified from  Miss Universe competition after she released to the public that she underwent surgery to become a female. The owner of the pageant,  Donald Trump disqualified Talackova claiming that she was not a "natural born woman." He was later criticized for his statement, and the contestant was readmitted to the competition, assessing the only requirement stated on the Miss Universe Canada website is that to enter, women must be a Canadian citizen and between the ages of 18 and 27. Despite her acceptance back into the contest,  Donal Trump failed to deliver an apology to Talackova, stating that "There will be no apology whatsoever. And frankly, if she competes, that's wonderful, and if she doesn't want to compete because maybe she thinks she can't win, that's fine also. I couldn't care less." This news story really infuriated me,because it demonstrates an ongoing homophobic and transgender discrimination around America and around the globe. The fact that someone can't compete because of their prior sex, is absurd. It's unfortunate that the majority is still unable to grasp the differences between sex and gender, and that one should have the freedom to identify freely as a member of any group if she/he wishes to do so. 

My questions to the class:
Do you think that the guidelines for the beauty pageant should be reevaluated and apply to all demographics? Do you find that Talackova's public release of her prior sex will serve to her disadvantage in the competition?


  1. I think this is a tricky question as I think anyone who participates in beauty pageants should be natural. Natural, meaning no nose jobs, no breast augmentations, and no fillers, for example. I’m not even sure what the exact guidelines are for those competitions. If the pageants are judged heavily, solely on looks, then maybe women who didn’t have surgery may be at disadvantage if they didn’t have the perfect cheeks, the perfect chin, or mouth for instance. So I am only judging this in regards to natural vs unnatural. But I can say that Talackova’s public release of her prior gender will serve as an disadvantage in the competition because there will be people who discriminate against transsexuals. Also, I think Donald Trump has every right to his own opinion, but how he worded his thoughts, were distasteful, he could’ve phrased it in a better manner.

  2. The guidelines should be considered for all demographics considering how degrading these pageants can be. If Jenna went through surgery to become a woman and feels like she identifies with what it is to be women than why not let her participate. I agree with what Tiffany's saying about natural and unnatural.But, the problem is these beauty pageants just show how cosmetic our view of beauty is. Sadly, the release of her sex could be a disadvantage, but I believe it is all about how we think about these things. Perhaps, the release of her prior sex somehow created something positive in the transgender community.

  3. I think the guidelines should definitely be reevaluated. Her public release will definitely serve as a disadvantage because not all people will be as open to transexuals as others will. It's pretty sad that her reputation did get tarnished but I didn't know why she would come out in the press release in the first place? Maybe so she wouldn't have to deal with it after the competition or be publicly picked out during the competition?