Beauty With Pride
Angela Ponce has been crowned as Miss Spain. The 26-year-old model was adjudged the winner of the country’s national pageant in July. What makes Ponce unique is the fact that she has become the first transgender to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. In a historic move, the beauty spectacle has been thrown open to transgenders for the very first time. Ponce hails from a conservative town Pilas, in Seville. The town’s conservative beliefs extend to its schools, where she was placed in a group of children ‘needing special attention’. With the support of her family, she was able to fight the negative attention and insults that came her way constantly and almost became a norm for her. At 16, Ponce took hormonal treatment and vaginal plastic surgery. But the discrimination against her continued well into her adult life as she was rejected multiple times for fashion events and shoots, once designers or organisers learnt about her sexual orientation. But life has come a full circle for Ponce and the world will witness her breaking barriers at the Miss Universe pageant. Looking ravishing in her Instagram post, she wrote in Spanish, “Wearing the name and colours of Spain before the universe is my great dream. My goal is to be the spokesperson for a message of inclusion, respect and diversity, not only for the LGBTQ+ community, but for the whole world.” Ponce has been receiving hundreds of messages on social media for her achievement and also some harsh words. But the 5 feet 11 inches Spanish model holds on to her beliefs. “Beauty is used to sell everything around us, and beauty can also help us spread a message of equality,” she adds. Watch out for this changemaker.