Transgender woman wins Miss Netherlands for the first time
A transgender woman has won the Miss Netherlands beauty pageant for the first time in the competition’s history.
Model Rikkie Valerie Kolle clinched the title of the 94-year-old contest on Sunday after impressing the jury with her “iron strong story” and “clear mission”.
The 22-year-old, from Breda in the south of the Netherlands, is the first transgender winner in the competition’s 94-year history.
She will now go on to compete in the Miss Universe competition in El Salvador in December.
Ms Kolle will be the competition’s second openly transgender competitor, after Spanish model Angela Ponce in 2018.
In her entry profile, she said she aimed to be “a voice and role model.”
“I know better than anyone what it’s like to feel alone and not be surrounded by only positive thoughts,” she wrote.
Transgender contestants have been able to compete in the pageant since 2012 – when it was owned by former US President Donald Trump.
The competition is now owned by Thai businesswoman and reality star Anne Jakkapong Jakrajutatip – who is herself transgender.
She bought the company in 2022 and promised “not only to continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions, but also to evolve the brand for the next generation”.