The Miss Italia pageant has been in the news, making headlines for banning transgender women from the competition. This story broke following the victory of a transwoman in the Miss Netherlands competition, as society takes a renewed interest in beauty pageants.
Several news articles discussed the ban on trans women participating in the Miss Italy competition. Patrizia Mirigliani, the director of the pageant, wanted to clarify that the rules of Miss Italy were established in 1939, the year of its creation, and explicitly state that candidates must be born as women.
“Today I haven't made any decisions. I have a set of rules that have been in place since the birth of Miss Italia in 1947, and if we want to compare it, it's almost like the Italian constitution in terms of how old and historic it is.” Patrizia said in the interview.
Mirigliani emphasized the significance of these longstanding rules, which have remained unchanged for over 84 years. Additionally, she mentioned that preparations for the 2023 Miss Italy season are already underway and altering the rules would be a complex process.
In response to this decision, trans activists have launched a significant backlash against the pageant. According to trans activist Federico Barbarossa, over 100 trans men, including himself, applied for Miss Italia as a form of protest against the decision and to challenge the bans on cosmetic surgery that Mirigliani implemented in 2012.
Mirigliani’s media relations representative informed me that there is no concrete evidence supporting these claims. Due to the online application process, it is challenging to ascertain the exact number of applicants. However, she mentioned that only 2-3 trans individuals have publicly declared their application.
According to Mirigliani’s team, those who applied online did not progress to the subsequent selection rounds. Despite this, the information has been widely disseminated by multiple news outlets, relying on the words of a trans activist without confirming the details directly from the pageant itself.
Mirigliani is facing criticism and even threats for expressing her opinions freely.
“Unfortunately, I have received many threats, and honestly, I didn't expect this, especially because we are all people. We are all individuals, and I, myself, am a woman.” she claimed.
She is not close minded to the situation but she wants to be clear:
I am open to discussion as long as there is no underlying intention to exploit. Everything we do for women must be serious because women around the world are currently facing very serious issues, and that should be our priority.