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Jessica Zafra: Miss Natural-Born Human Female of the Known Universe

By this time everyone’s given their opinion on whether transgender contestants should be allowed to compete in female beauty pageants such as Miss Universe. Pageant franchise holder Donald Trump has already made the official declaration.

1. Why do Pinoys love beauty pageants?

1.1. Is it the Latin macho culture we imbibed in three centuries of colonial rule? Pinoys share this beauty pageant madness with Venezuelans and Colombians, fellow ex-Spanish colonies.

1.2. Is it because we’re a young country and we’re eager to be recognized by the rest of the world? We’d like to be known as a good-looking country.

1.2.1. Which is why we are the first and most vicious critics of overseas Pinoy celebrities who do not meet our standards of beauty. Example: The Pinoys who actually protested the inclusion of Charice in the cast of “Glee”.

1.2.2. The first insult we throw at the people we dislike is “Pangit!” (Ugly.) Example: The detractors of President Benigno Aquino III.

1.3.  Because we still have to work out questions of national identity and culture, and winning titles and trophies makes it easier for us to express “Pinoy Pride”.

1.4. Because beauty titles offer socio-economic benefits and a fast track to fame and fortune. Beauty queens can become movie/TV stars, models, politicians, or at least the girlfriends of the rich and famous.

1.5. At the same time, panlalait is a national pastime. Lots of people watch beauty contests in order to make fun of the contestants.

1.5.1. It’s a great equalizer. You may not be pageant material, but you can laugh at them all.

1.5.2. You can express your burning envy without seeming bitter and resentful.

1.5.3. We like to see nature’s law of compensation at work: the pretty and stupid.

1.5.4. It helps to answer the question: “Is your boyfriend gay?” If he’s memorized the names of the winners and their stats (“She needs to get at least an 8.9 in the evening gown competition in order to make the final…”) going back two decades, it’s time to rethink your plans. Then again, maybe he just likes stats. However, it is not true that all gay men are beauty pageant experts.

2.  Arguments for not allowing transsexual women to compete in female beauty pageants.

2.1. It is “an insult to real women.”

2.1.1. “Real women” being “humans who were born with uteri and therefore can conceive children”. Beauty pageants periodically trundle out the “What is the essence of being a woman?” question. Apparently in a recent pageant the answer was “motherhood”. Then why are women who have given birth not allowed to join Miss Universe? When a current titleholder gets knocked up, why does she have to relinquish the crown?

2.2. Unfair competition: Transsexuals would totally rule the pageants.

2.2.1. The Philippines and Thailand would win all the titles. (This is also an argument for allowing transsexual women in Miss Universe.)

2.2.2. Would a woman be allowed to join a Miss Gay Philippines pageant if she is a babaeng bakla?

2.2.3. Suppose a heterosexual male joins a Miss Gay Philippines pageant because he knows he would appeal to the judges, is that cheating?

2.3. The very idea of a “Miss Universe” is a farce because only human females from Earth are represented. There are no contestants from Mars, Uranus, Alpha Centauri and billions and billions of stars.

2.3.1. For a “Miss Universe” to be authentic, the pageant must be run by NASA and other space agencies.

3. Arguments for allowing transsexual women to compete in female beauty pageants.

3.1. As PinayTG Naomi Fontanos put it, “This has been a long time coming. It is also time to stop the nonsense that transsexual women are ‘fake/not real women.’ We are as real as can be and made up of the same cells, tissue and flesh as the next girl/woman.”

3.1.1. “The idea of ‘genetic womanhood’ is a harmful myth akin to being a Stepford Wife. It is completely ridiculous, oppressive and disempowering to womankind.”

3.1.2. “Plus, it is a beauty pageant. It is not Miss Uterus/Miss Vagina/Miss Do You Think You Can Bear A Child.” “But I agree that pageants objectify women, are ridden with politics, and all about money. It is time to rethink them.” “There was a time when it was an insult to straight men for gay men to claim equality with them. That has changed.” “Transwomen in the Miss Universe is simply part of the natural evolution of the human race.”

3.2. The concept of “natural-born female” has repercussions for the future when human cloning becomes a reality. Will clones have the same rights as “natural-born humans”?

3.2.1. There may already be clones amongst us. We’ve cloned sheep; it’s entirely possible.

3.2.2. There’s a lot of excellent science-fiction on an issue which may soon be science-fact. For starters, look up the films Blade Runner by Ridley Scott and Gattaca by Andrew Nicol.

4. Suggestions

4.1. If transsexuals can join female beauty pageants, when can women become Pope?

4.2.  Our friend Vivien says: “If we plant 1,000 trees for every transsexual who joins Miss Universe, we can help avert global warming.”