Wednesday, October 08, 2008

2008 Amazing Philippine Beauties Press Launch

This is a transgender beauty pageant that hasn't been around as long as the more widely known Miss Tiffany Universe in Thailand or Chicago's Miss Continental, but has rapidly gained popularity in the pageant crazy Philippines and garnered worldwide media attention as well.

The press conference launching this year's edition of the pageant was held yesterday for the 6th annual Amazing Philippines Beauty Pageant. There will be 25 ladies competing to see who will succeed 2007 winner Rianne Barrameda, possibly represent the Philippines at the upcoming Miss International Queen pageant in Thailand and the slots in the Amazing Philippines Theatre Show that go with it.

The Amazing Philippines Theatre is modeled on the transgender cabaret shows of Thailand, but features homegrown Filipino and Filipina talent. The winner gets in addition to a cash prize a contract to perform in the show.

Like the Miss Tiffany's pageant has discovered over the course of its existence, the contestants have not only been beautiful, but increasingly have been drawing college educated contestants with talent as well.

The pageant will take place on October 24, and at that time the Philippines and the rest of the world will discover who the new Miss Amazing Philippines Beauty will be.


Renee said...

I really do understand the urge to participate in this because of the way that trans women are constructed by society but I have a huge issue with beauty pageants being used. These beauty pageants objectify women. It says that all that is important is a womans physical beauty and not her mind, her dreams...I just think as women we need to stop colluding with things that limits us in this way. We are so much more than our physical bodies.

Monica Roberts said...

I have a different attitude about beauty pageants.

When you are part of a group that's told you aren't beautiful, you'll never be a woman, et cetera, these pageants are huge self esteem boosters for transwomen and eye openers for our detractors.

I'm from the generation that saw the Miss Black America Pageant get started at a time when Black women were almost invisible in mainstream pageants.

It was (and still is) designed to be a positive self esteem building experience. Some of the alumni of the Miss Black America pageant system include some woman by the name of Oprah Winfrey.

Renee said...

This is the same kind of argument that is used to justify the woc only beauty pageants but the same thing is at play here. I am sure that you will agree that black women in particular and deemed "beauty queens" because of the race hierarchy. Yet when we engage in these activities that we know are limiting to white women (the ones held up as ideal beauty) are we not just seeking approval from patriarchal forces whose main intent is to objectify us in the first place?

VĂ©ronique said...

Renee: "It says that all that is important is a womans physical beauty and not her mind, her dreams..."

Perhaps not your dreams or mine, but if a woman -- cis or trans, and of any skin colour -- willingly participates in a beauty pageant, then maybe to be judged beautiful is her dream. And if that's so, who is anyone else to say that she can't have that dream?

crys said...

i agree with veronique.....grown women have the option to participate in whatever they choose to, for whatever reason.

what i don't understand is beauty pageants for children.

Renee said...

I think that part of the problem to me is that it is still making beauty as something that should be determined by the patriarchal lens. I support a woman's right to choose to engage in this behavior because I ultimately believe in the agency of all women, however that does not remove the problematic nature of it.

Vanessa said...

Great photos and details.
There are of course down sides to beauty pageants, but I think a transgender beauty pageant reinforces the fact that transgender folks can be beautiful.

While it may hold up an unattainable bar for many, this is no different from regular beauty pageants. Except that these offer a valuable contrast to the traditional stereotypes of transgender folks.

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