Brazil’s infamous Miss Bumbum pageant is drumming up even more buzz than usual this year, as the entry of the competition’s first-ever transgender contestants is sparking rage among some participants.
Though the derriere pageant supports the two contestants in question, some of the other 25 hopefuls are eager to have them removed from the lineup ahead of the August event.
On May 10, transgender contestants Paula Oliveira and Giovanna Spinella told The Sun they’re totally confident in their abilities, despite the harassment they are receiving.
“They are feeling threatened because they are seeing a trans who is more beautiful than them,” Oliveira said. “I’m not offended by what they said, because it’s clear they want me out because I’ve got a much sexier a--.”
Spinella chimed in that she is “honored to be able to take part” in the eighth annual pageant and go head-to-head with beauties representing Brazil’s 27 states. The lone winner of the event crowned with the “best bum” scores overnight fame and the opportunity to get rich quick with modeling contracts.
Finalist Ellen Santana is among the ones protesting Oliveira and Spinella’s participation.
“The competition is supposed to be 100 percent feminine and yet we’re going to have bottoms which are men’s bottoms. It doesn’t matter if they’ve had surgery, changed their names or sex on a piece of paper,” the 31-year-old biology student told The Sun.
“I’m not intolerant, I know there are a lot of trans people who are more beautiful than lots of women. I just think that they should compete in a pageant for trans, and not be allowed to compete in Miss Bumbum, which is all about the beauty of the Brazilian woman.”
“I just think that the competition is for women, not for men,” 29-year-old Debora Porto echoed in agreement. “It’s them who should leave because they are men with a man’s body and a man’s bottom. I think the whole diversity thing has gone too far.”
Unfortunately for Santana and Porto, this year’s theme for the competition is “diversity,” with organizers encouraging participants to “break the mold.” Furthermore, Miss Bumbum’s officials have threatened to disqualify the angry entrants if they continue to “prejudice” their transgender peers.
“As long as these women have undergone sex reassignment surgery, and have become fully women, there is nothing that prevents them from taking part. The truth is that, by the law, they are 100 percent women,” Miss Bumbum founder Cacau Oliver said.
According to the Daily Mail, Brazil began providing free gender reassignment operations in 2007 through its public health system, and transgender individuals can legally register their gender change. Nevertheless, the South American nation “has one of the world's highest rates of fatal violence against transgender people,” making Oliveira and Spinella’s debut all the more noteworthy.
This latest controversy swirling around Miss Bumbum isn’t the first time the posterior pageant has made headlines. In November 2017, hopefuls sported beef bikinis to protest sexual harassment in the wake of the #MeToo movement. And the year prior, promotional photos of the contestants re-enacting “The Last Supper” by Leonardo DaVinci in barely-there swimsuits had Brazilian Catholics up in arms.