An overweight bloke just won a Miss America beauty pageant

Did you know that men’s legs, which tend to have better muscle definition than women’s, are often used to advertise socks? It seems men really do make the best women. Further proof of this came this week when a 19-year-old boy called Brían was crowned ‘Miss Greater Derry’ in the Miss America beauty pageant. Looking at the photos, one could be forgiven for thinking it was a social media hoax. A woman, let’s say, the bulk would have been laughed off the stage.

Yet, with smile well-practice, the losing contestant was cooed as an overweight teenager kneeled down so that a delicate, diamante tiara could be placed on his head. After the coronation, Brían did not give a typical beauty queen speech calling for an end to war or cruelty to animals. Instead, she took to Instagram to boast that she had become the ‘FIRST transgender woman to win the local title of Miss America’ in the pageant’s 100-odd year history.

Ordinarily, I would refrain from making personal comments about the appearance of teenagers of either sex. And as a middle-aged, slowly sagging midget with a sense of fashion that would put home-educated children to shame, I am also aware that I have never been and will never be beauty-pageant material. But beauty queens are usually judged, at least in part, on their looks. This is part of the deal. So you can’t help but notice that the winner of this particular contest looks a lot like an undercooked, lumpy sausage, with moobs of flesh pressed into the gown.

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In a world where online pornography is just a click away and women in Iran are killed for removing their hijab, I struggle to muster too much rage about the kitsch sexism of beauty pageants. The idea of ​​women and girls parading around while sweaty judges score them must be horrifying and anachronistic. However, women enter the Miss Greater Derry pageant in good faith and deserve a fair chance. They refused a gift that really belonged to one of them. Brían sashayed out not only with the tiara, but also with university scholarships and sponsorship opportunities. The other contestants had no choice but to clap along at the mockery made of their efforts. The spectacle serves as a powerful reminder that, in America today, failing to show respect to trans overlords (or trans overladies?) is potentially career-ending.

This pattern is replicated in people’s lives. From sports to politics and science, wherever a scheme is established to increase the participation of women, men are entitled to the stiletto that marches on marking them as their territory. And if proof is needed that transwomen are men, it can be witnessed in the fawning, gushing behavior of the wider world towards them. Overweight women don’t enter beauty pageants at all, let alone be crowned.

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Of course, some men have long been fascinated by the spectacle of beautiful women competing with each other. Before becoming the president of the United States, Donald Trump co-owned the Miss Universe franchise. Earlier this month, Thailand’s first billionaire – a transgender media mogul called Jakkaphong ‘Anne’ Jakrajutatip – bought the company for $20 million. The 43-year-old has won prizes and accolades meant for successful women, and has been widely celebrated as the competition’s first ‘female’ owner.

In the US, an unlikely alliance is fighting against this trans beauty pageant. In a comic twist, the American feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) has been at the forefront of protecting women’s right to be beauty queens. Last month, a group of radical women won a legal battle with Miss America USA (MUSA). The would-be contestant – a man who identifies as trans – took legal action against MUSA, after his application was rejected on the grounds that he was not a ‘natural born woman’.

As Wolff’s chair, Lierre Keith, told me: ‘You can roll your eyes about the beauty contest, but the principle is the same whether it’s a contest, a homeless shelter, a hospital ward or a prison. Women say no to men, because we have rights.’ It’s about ‘men claiming women and claiming a right to our space’, she says. The idea that a woman is a costume that a man can wear is the essence of the dick-swinging entitlement.

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Much to the chagrin of proudly hair-legged feminists like me, there are probably more Miss America fans and aspiring contestants than there are critics raging on the patriarchal beauty standards such contests promote. Given this, the plus side of plus-size men like Brían waltzing and sweeping women’s prizes is that more women will be forced to put aside their political differences and recognize what unites us. The threat of trans ideology to women’s space and opportunity could not be clearer. So, I’d like to say ‘well done’ to Miss Greater Derry – she seems to be inspiring women everywhere. Just not in the way he imagined.

Jo Bartosch is a journalist campaigning for the rights of women and girls.

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