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Miss Universe Canada pageant leads the way
The participation of Jenna Talackova, a male-to-female transsexual, in the latest Miss Universe Canada pageant is a milestone in the march of prominent beauty pageants toward freak shows, though judging by the looks of the contestants in recent years, this may be the first prominent case, not the first of its kind.
At first Talackova was disqualified for not being biologically female, but later allowed to participate under pressure from LGBTQetc groups. The Miss Universe Canada organization was correct in initially dismissing her because she violated their requirement that contestants be biologically female. Now, was this requirement unfair?
Jenna Talackova began cross-hormone treatment at age 14, and underwent sex-reassignment surgery at age 19. Depending on looks and age at which hormonal treatment is begun, a biological male that has undergone sex-reassignment surgery (transsexual) could, in some cases, successfully physically resemble a female externally, and may end up looking more feminine than numerous biological females.
The genetic deck of cards one is dealt with is naturally unfair. How unfair is it to add unnatural inequities such as sex-hormone treatment and major surgical work, used by transsexuals to attempt to resemble the opposite sex, some of which could also be used by cissexuals [normal people] to make themselves more physically attractive?
With respect to the typical beauty pageant, surgery on genitals is not an issue as they are not evaluated. But secondary sexual characteristics, as altered by sex hormones or surgery, are highly relevant to beauty pageants, and whereas transsexuals benefit from these, they have also experienced a looks-shaping developmental environment of the sex they do not wish to be.
It could be argued, in regard to a beauty pageant, that some apparent advantages transsexuals enjoy counter the developmental environment they have experienced. At the same time, it is difficult to take into account miscellaneous variables and state that a select group of transsexuals are on a level playing field with cissexuals, and something like a beauty pageant is hardly a contest where contestants are selected at random and compete on a level playing field.
The issue of transsexual participation in mainstream beauty pageants can be addressed without too much trouble. If the pageant is about looks within a subset of a given sex, and hormonal or surgical enhancement is not a disqualifying characteristic, then transsexual participation should be fine. Whereas if the pageant is about looks within a subset of a given sex, and hormonal or surgical enhancement is a disqualifying characteristic, then transsexuals can be excluded without prejudice.
But modern mainstream beauty pageants comply with neither approach. Pageant organizers do not appear particular about excluding contestants that have had nose jobs, and in a number of cases, one can observe contestants with breast implants. In other words, surgical enhancement is not ruled out, and neither are the contestants tested for hormones or drugs they might be taking to enhance looks.
At the same time, the contestants may look feminine or masculine. That Jenna Talackova is a transsexual was not initially discerned/suspected from her non-feminine body with breasts that appear out of place and a face that is too feminine to belong to the same body, especially extremities (limbs, hands, feet); see Talackova’s pictures. People who seek surgical reassignment to the opposite sex, on average, end up looking neither male nor female, and it would be difficult to say overall somewhere in between; most end up with a transsexual look, an oddity that is hard to not notice. How can beauty pageants degrade to the point where pageant officials do not become suspicious, just from looks, when they encounter someone like Ms. Talackova? This is because these pageants feature, aside from feminine contestants, plenty of female contestants with non-feminine looks, faces more masculine than Jenna Talackova’s, and said-to-be-female contestants who approach the looks of male-to-female transsexuals. One of the contestants in the Miss Universe Canada Pageant, a national finalist, Adwoa Yamoah, looks like a man in drag, but the organizers had no issues with her(?) participation.
So how was the discovery made? A blogger who recognized Jenna Talackova from her participation in a transsexual beauty pageant in Thailand exposed her, making pageant officials question her or, in the alternative, act surprised at something they already knew but would normally let pass as the homosexuals might get upset.
The marketing issues with modern major beauty pageants have been previously discussed. Because these pageants are heavily sponsored by the fashion and beauty industries, contestants have a better chance of ranking well if their looks please the male-homosexual-dominated fashion industry. Such pleasing typically happens when the female contestants have masculinized looks, especially those approaching the looks of adolescent boys and those of a transvestite or transsexual. On the other hand, marketing to the general public is better facilitated when the female contestants look feminine. So where does this leave modern mainstream beauty pageants?
In Jenna Talackova we have the case of a transsexual initially excluded from a beauty pageant though a transsexual look would favor higher ranking in the pageant. Even when allowed to participate, the particular transsexual look of Talackova is of no use to homosexual fashion designers. At 23, she is too old for fashion modeling, has too large breasts and a face that is not masculine enough. Talackova thus physically embodies the status of the pageant, ending up neither here nor there.