In a groundbreaking moment for the world of beauty pageants, a transgender woman has emerged victorious, claiming the title of Miss Netherlands for the very first time.
Rikkie Valerie Kollé, a 22-year-old residing in Breda, has etched her name in history by becoming the first trans woman to be crowned Miss Netherlands. The prestigious event took place at the AFAS Theater in Leusden on July 8, where Kollé, donning an exquisite red gown with a daring thigh-high slit, was presented with her crown by previous winner Ona Moody and reigning Miss Universe, R’Bonney Gabriel from the USA.
Overflowing with joy and excitement, Kollé took to Instagram to share her elation, exclaiming, “I DID IT!!!!! It’s unreal, but I can call myself @missnederland 2023.” She reflected on her journey in the competition, describing it as an “educational and wonderful” experience. Kollé expressed immense pride and happiness in her accomplishment, crediting her inner strength for leading her to this triumph, cherishing every moment of the journey.
Responding to Kollé’s historic win, the official Instagram page of Miss Netherlands shared a captivating photo of her adorned with the crown, clutching a bouquet of flowers. The accompanying caption celebrated her extraordinary journey, highlighting her radiant presence throughout the competition and her significant growth during the process. The jury commended Kollé for her powerful story and clear mission, expressing confidence in her ability to effectively collaborate with the organization. The caption concluded with the resounding announcement, “Miss Netherlands 2023 is… RIKKIE.”
As the newly crowned Miss Netherlands, Kollé will proudly represent her country in the upcoming Miss Universe 2023 competition, scheduled to be held in El Salvador in December. Although the exact date is yet to be confirmed, representatives from 24 countries will gather to compete for the illustrious title of Miss Universe. It is noteworthy that in 2022, trans businesswoman Anne Jakrajutatip, CEO of Thai media group JKN and founder of Life Inspired For Transsexual Foundation, acquired the Miss Universe franchise. Jakrajutatip has been a vocal advocate for gender equality and seeks to celebrate the power of feminism through the Miss Universe platform.
Prior to 2012, trans women were prohibited from participating in beauty pageants. Ángela Ponce broke barriers as the first trans woman to compete in Miss Universe in 2018. Rikkie Valerie Kollé’s historic achievement not only marks a significant milestone in the realm of beauty pageants but also serves as a powerful inspiration for inclusivity and progress within the industry. Her win amplifies the message of acceptance and provides a beacon of hope for transgender individuals around the world.