While wearing a rainbow-sequined gown, Kataluna Enriquez was crowned Miss Nevada 2021 at the South Point hotel in Las Vegas last Sunday. People, NBC News, and the Washington Post all celebrated the 27-year-old fashion designer’s victory in the statewide beauty pageant. You see, Enriquez is not like “most girls” or pageant queens — far from it. Enriquez was born male and will be the first transgender person to compete in the Miss America pageant this fall.
When scrolling through photos of Enriquez in bikinis and scanty clothing, one sees that it is unfathomable that Enriquez is biologically male. Enriquez is striking, with features comparable to those of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. High cheekbones, big, pouty lips, a ski-sloped nose — there is not a subtle trace of masculinity in Enriquez’s face. Enriquez’s body would send even a Victoria’s Secret model crying over a pint of ice cream.
It’s amazing what plastic surgeons are capable of. Sure, shaving someone’s Adam’s apple down is impressive, but how about carving an hourglass figure into a biological male’s torso?
Enriquez may be beautiful, but it’s not natural. It’s the best that money can buy. The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery estimates that facial feminization surgery can cost up to $70,100 and that the average cost of “bottom surgery” for male to transgender woman patients is $25,600. Some biological men have spent over $100,000 reconstructing their bodies to match the female mold.
Society is often critical of women for partaking in cosmetic surgery. But when it is transgender women sporting 38DD cups, they are viewed as brave and heroic — winning awards like an ESPY and a Miss Nevada title. It’s a double standard.
Teen Vogue criticizes Disney and Barbie for imposing unrealistic body standards on little girls, but then celebrates Sports Illustrated for including transgender model Valentina Sampaio, who doesn’t naturally have wide hips or breasts. And according to Victoria’s Secret executives, Sampaio is a better model of a “real woman” than Victoria’s Secret angels Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima. Naturally beautiful models who keep a meticulous diet and exercise rigorously are viewed as oppressive symbols of patriarchy, but biological men who spend thousands on cosmetic surgery are viewed as beautiful and brave. Go figure.
In Enriquez’s case, virtue-signaling beauty pageant judges have rewarded a person who paid up to $70,000 on facial reconstruction surgery instead of a woman born with a feminine brow structure. Sure, it’s a beauty contest, but it’s not on an even playing field.
I’m not naive enough to think that a female beauty pageant contestant has never undergone a breast augmentation or rhinoplasty. It’s no secret that unrealistic beauty standards have always existed. But after a breast augmentation, a woman is still female. Bumping one’s bra size up two cups doesn’t make someone more of a woman — just like putting silicon in a man’s chest doesn’t make him a woman.
Enriquez may have the best hip-to-waist ratio, the prettiest hair, the perkiest breasts, but it is all just an imitation. Plastic surgery can’t change the fact that Enriquez is biologically male. When we crown a person who identifies as transgender as the epitome of female beauty, we celebrate what a surgeon can do and not what God has already done.
Enriquez may talk like a woman and look like a woman, but Enriquez is a man. To parade a biological male as Miss Nevada 2021 is an insult to female beauty.
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