A biological man, identifying as a transgender woman has won the Miss Netherlands beauty pageant, the first such happening in its history.
Model Rikkie Valerie Kolle won the crown on Sunday, impressing the jury with his “iron strong story” and “clear mission”.
Kolle, 22, originating from the southern Netherlands, is the competition’s first transgender winner in its 94-year history.
His victory means that he qualifies for the Miss Universe competition in El Salvador in December.
The phenomenon of biological men finding success in women’s beauty pageants has been a growing trend in the western world in recent years.
Kataluna Enriquez, who was crowned Miss Nevada USA in 2021. Brian Nguyen won the title of Miss Greater Derry, which led to a backlash in some circles, more memorably from former Miss Great Britain winner model Leilani Dowdin, who said the other contestants had their opportunity “stolen from them by a biological male”.
“A biological male and an overweight one at that has just won Miss Greater Derry in New Hampshire. Brian who is not even a female name, caked in makeup, nothing like the pretty natural girls that entered the competition, has not only taken first place, they’ve taken away the chance for a female to have a scholarship and use that prize money for something towards her future,” Dowdin said in a video she shared on Twitter.
When Kolle competes at Miss Universe, he will be the competition’s second openly transgender competitor, after Spanish model Angela Ponce in 2018.
Transgender contestants have been able to compete in the pageant since 2012 – when it was owned by former US President Donald Trump.
The competition is now owned by Thai businesswoman and reality star Anne Jakkapong Jakrajutatip – who is transgender.
Jakrajutatip bought the company in 2022 and promised: “not only to continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions but also to evolve the brand for the next generation”.