In the lead-up to the grand Miss Universe contest in November 2023, contestants from all around the world are being sought to represent their countries. One of the recent winners is Miss Universe Portugal 2023, Marina Machete.
Marina Machete, a 28-year-old transgender woman who works as a flight attendant, emerge victorious in the contest, beating 16 other participants, as report by Marca.
A Historic Victory
Marina’s victory is not just about her stunning beauty but also her eloquence and ability to connect with both the audience and the judges. After being crown Miss Universe Portugal 2023, Marina express her thoughts on the historic moment.
“I am proud to be the first transgender woman to compete for the title of Miss Universe Portugal,” she said.
In addition to this incredible achievement, she reflect on the years she couldn’t participate, making her win even more special. Miss Universe 2023 has already confirm 79 participants and is schedule to take place on November 18, 2023, in El Salvador.
Diverse and Inclusive
This year’s competition promises to be more than just about beauty, as diversity and inclusion will take the spotlight like never before. Marina Machete is not the only transgender contestant in Miss Universe 2023. Rikkie Valerie Kolle, representing the Netherlands, won the Miss Netherlands competition in July 2023.
Rikkie Kolle became the first transgender contestant to secure this title, and she will represent her country in the upcoming Miss Universe 2023 competition at the end of the year.
“I did it!” Kolle wrote in an Instagram post after her victory at the AFAS Theater in Leusden. “I made my community proud and showed that this can be done,” she exclaimed in Dutch, accompanied by blue and pink heart emojis and the LGBT flag.
Rikkie Kolle’s Journey to this Win
Rikkie Kolle’s journey to this win extraordinary, considering hundreds of applicants. She used her platform to promote a more inclusive vision of beauty pageants, particularly for transgender individuals, and to inspire others.
“Miss Universe asked us to describe ourselves in one word,” Kolle said in a video shared on her Instagram a month prior. “The word I chose is ‘victory’ because as a boy, I conquered everything that stood in my way, and look at me now, standing here as a strong, empowered, and confident trans woman.”
She emphasized that such achievements are possible when everyone works together. Of Maluku and Dutch descent, Rikkie invited her followers not to stop dreaming of becoming the best and most confident versions of themselves.
“Never let anyone decide what’s right for you, because the only thing that matters is you being the best version of yourself.”