The titles given for beauty are intensely sought after. Most women would do whatever it takes to be given a title based on their beauty. When Beyoncé was named the most beautiful woman for 2012 by People Magazine last month many acknowledged that the title was not based on physical beauty alone, but went way beyond it. There are thousands of women more physically beautiful.
But it’s the combination of several factors which converged together to make Bey the ‘most beautiful’. Her choice to practice traditional family values, her well-rounded approach to life and the successes in her life, both personally and professionally are what catapulted Bey to the ranks of the ‘most beautiful.’ However those of us who’ve been following her career know that Bey’s beauty is not self-proclaimed, nor did she set out to achieve the title of ‘most beautiful.’ She just worked hard to become the best at whatever she put her hands to.
However, for Jenna Talackova, the 23-year-old transgender who was ejected from the Miss Universe-Canada pageant because it was discovered that she is not a ‘natural born’ female, a title seems a little more elusive. Shortly after ejecting Talackova, the Miss Universe-Canada pageant reversed itself and ruled that it would allow Ms. Talackova to compete, provided that she meet the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competition. However, it is very unlikely that Ms. Talackova will be allowed to compete in the Miss Universe competition even if she competes in – and wins – the Ms. Universe-Canada pageant which will take place on May 19, 2012.
Talackova, who was born male but began hormone therapy at 14 and underwent gender reassignment surgery at 19, entered the competition although she was aware that the competition eligibility rules state that only natural-born-females could compete.
At a press conference Talackova’s lawyer, Gloria Allred said that because Talackova’s birth certificate, driver’s license and Canadian passport all reflect that she is female, there is no question that she is legally female. But although legally female, Talackova’s bid for the Miss Universe title will be doomed to failure if the Miss Universe pageant also requires that only ‘natural-born-females’ could compete. For Talackova, the search for a Miss Universe title will go beyond beauty and hinge on her gender at birth.
But this will not be Talackova’s first setback in her search for a title. In 2010 she competed in the Miss International Queen Competition, a pageant for transgendered women which is restricted to individuals born as biological males. The website CNNGo.com described the pageant as the pageant for the world’s hottest ladyboys. She didn’t win.