OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:44 PM – Sunday, July 9, 2023
For the first time ever, a transgender contestant who was biologically born a man and who later transitioned to identify as a woman was named Miss Universe Netherlands, making history in the Dutch country.
Rikkie Valerie Kolle, 22, won the pageant on Saturday, thereby making her Miss Netherlands 2023, and qualifying her to compete in the next Miss Universe competition later this year. Miss Universe is a competition when women from all around the world train to present their best selves for the famous beauty pageant crown.
“She has a rock-solid story with a clear mission… The jury is convinced that the organization (of Miss Netherlands, ed.) will be happy to work with this young woman,” stated the competition’s jury in a statement.
Kolle will be crowned Miss Netherlands for a year and will be eligible to compete in the Miss Universe pageant later this year in El Salvador.
In 2018, the Moluccan-Dutch model competed in Holland’s Next Top Model reality television show, reaching the final round of candidates. Kolle was the show’s second transgender model, following Loiza Lamers, who won the competition in 2015.
“I am only too happy to commit to all the little Rikkies who have to deal with rejection from their family, their transition to the person they desire to be. Help make their self-image and acceptance stronger, untouchable,” Kolle said. “Through my commitment and strength, I hope to bring change to society. Ultimately, it’s about being able to become who you are without issues and that that can happen when YOU want.”
The 22-year-old model will be the second transgender contender to compete in the worldwide competition, following Angela Ponce of Spain in 2018.
However, the fact that the competition’s jury chose a biological man as Miss Netherlands has also sparked outrage on social media from users throughout the globe.
“A man just won “Miss Netherlands” 2023. Considering the fact that we live in a post-Truth world, I wasn’t even expecting anything else. It’s all so predictable and unoriginal at this point.”
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