Media Goes to Embarrassing Lengths to Avoid Saying Just How Bad Trans Miss Universe Contestant Was


So, as you may have heard (repeatedly, incessantly), there was a transgender contestant at this year’s Miss Universe pageant.

Miss Spain Angela Ponce was hailed as a hero for LGBT rights and social justice. Segments during the broadcast were devoted solely to her. She received a cacophonous standing ovation when she stepped out onto the runway. Nary an opportunity passed that didn’t involve someone bringing up that President Donald Trump used to own the Miss Universe pageant and how much of a blow a victory would strike against the hidebound bigots who still insist that biological realities play a pretty major role in gender.

Alas, victory wasn’t Ponce’s, who fell a little bit short. And by a little bit short, I mean he crashed out as early as possible.

As Newsbusters notes, Ponce couldn’t even make it out of the first elimination round during the Miss Universe finals in Bangkok, Thailand.

Even though Miss Spain didn’t do particularly well, there was no shortage of adulation during the broadcast.

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Take a segment featuring Ponce and plus-size model Ashley Graham:

“As somebody that worked hard to challenge the conception of how we measure beauty, it is exciting that it gets more diverse and tonight marks another milestone,” Graham said during the segment.

“She is everything you’d expect from the reigning Miss Universe. She’s smart. Driven. Beautiful. But her path has been anything but ordinary. And nothing short of extraordinary. She is changing history as the first transgender woman to contend for the title of Miss Universe.

Do you think Miss Universe should admit transgender contestants?

“At a young age she suffered bullying from classmates but with the love and support of her family she has faced life with a smile. However, acceptance is still not absolute. Even in some corners of the pageant community. Today Miss Universe Spain is a vocal advocate for inclusiveness. Hers is a message of inclusion for all people despite their differences. Ladies and gentlemen, Angela Ponce.”

E! Entertainment, meanwhile, tried to conceal the fact that she didn’t even make the second round as much as it possibly could. Take the mind-boggling headline: “Miss Spain Angela Ponce, the First Transgender Woman to Compete in Miss Universe, Doesn’t Make Finals.”

That’s a bit like saying “Guy Who Came on Track With Souped-Up Lawnmower Doesn’t Win Indianapolis 500.”

“Miss Spain Angela Ponce did not make it to the final round of 20 at the 2018 Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand,” the story began. “Although there was a separate ‘Wild Card’ round of 5 to round out the final group of women to 25, Ponce went home empty-handed and uncrowned as Miss Universe. Many people, however, still see her appearance in the pageant as a victory in and of itself.”

As for whether the appearance was “a victory in and of itself” I mean, I’m sure some people see it that way. It certainly makes Miss Universe look progressive.

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Oh, by the way, if you’ve ever been married or pregnant you can’t get into Miss Universe. Admitting a transgender individual seems to have wallpapered over that just fine. Progressive!

As for whether her victory would send a message to Trump?

“It would be a win for human rights,” Ponce said.

“Trans women have been persecuted and erased for so long,” she said. “If they give me the crown, it would show trans women are just as much women as cis women.”

Alas, you didn’t get close enough to send that message. Sorry about that.

I’ve never felt the need to watch beauty pageants, personally. However, if you do, let me ask you a question: If a beauty pageant isn’t about beauty, what is it about?

Miss America made headlines when it announced it was scrapping the swimsuit competition — not necessarily just because it was scrapping it but Miss America board of trustees chair Gretchen Carlson announced that “(w)e are no longer a pageant. We are a competition. We will no longer judge candidates on their outward physical appearance.”

So it’s a competition that does what? Is this moving toward something like a Rhodes Scholarship interview? I mean, if it is, good luck finding viewers.

Pageants are lost in the 21st century. Their main purpose, it seems, is to chew up airtime on weekends and make social statements. As for Miss Universe, it’s been slipping in the ratings in recent years. Did a man entering the competition arrest the downward slide? We don’t necessarily know yet — but if the novelty of the first transgender contestant was what drew people in, they certainly had every reason to tune out early.

Either way, it’s more proof that liberalism indeed ruins everything.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture