Issue of fairness for transgender in Miss Universe Pageant

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By: Jennifer Werner

Jenna Talackova, 23, a transgender female who was disqualified from the Miss Universe Pageant for not being a natural born female, has created quite the uproar recently in the media. Pageantry tends to be frowned upon by the vast majority of society, due to a stereotype of producing Barbie-like titleholders who strut around a stage in the hopes of being viewed as the most beautiful.

However, as a former pageant queen and continuing pageant woman, I can attest to the misrepresentation of this view. There are some beauty pageants, however, pageant systems such as Miss America and Miss Universe are service-based organizations that are in search of women who possess leadership skills, who have had a positive influence on society, are trustworthy, and strive to make a difference in the community.

The Miss Universe Pageant, owned by Donald Trump, has a strict set of rules stating that contestants must be natural-born women, never married, and never have had a child or have been pregnant. Women that were upfront and honest about having a child have been turned away.

Yet, Talackova, who lied on her application, claiming to be a natural-born female, has been allowed to compete.

I have no problem with transgender women being allowed to compete. However, if she is allowed to be the exception to the rules, why shouldn’t all of the other women who have been married or have had children be allowed to compete? That’s only fair, right? So, where should the line be drawn? Rules are rules and if you are going to change them for one person, then you should change it for everyone.

While I understand the dilemma that Talackova faced with the previous set of rules regarding contestants being natural-born females, she was still dishonest. Why not approach the situation honestly and petition to change the requirements?

Email: jwerner2@radford.edu