Earlier this week, news around the world reported the dismissal -for the first time in history- of the winner of the Miss Dominican Republic crown. Her name, Carola Duran. Her mistake: Being married.
According to Dominican media, Duran had been briefly married in 2009. Through her attorney, she informed that the marriage was never consumated and it was annulled. However, her civil status was enough for her to be disqualified, since according to Miss Universe rules, contestants “must be single and never been married”.
The acceptance of married women in “Miss” competitions has been controversial to some extent, but it had never been a major issue.
However, when Donald Trump, along with the Miss Universe Organization and GLAAD, gave weeks ago the green light for transgenders to join the Miss Universe competition (abolishing their own “natural born female” rule), all rules concening the pageant started to be questioned.
In the comment section of virtually every media outlet reporting on the Duran event, the question was the same:
“How can the Miss Universe competition accept transgenders, but not natural women even if they are married or divorced?”.
The debate was long and interesting. In a poll conducted by Global Beauties, 64% of the voters agreed that its time to allow married/divorced women in the competition.
More traditional fans defend their non-inclusion stating that married women would not be able to perform their duties like the current queens. However, in today’s world, married women are capable of taking any job they require, including those where they live through their looks.
A perfect example: Today’s world most admired models: The Victoria’s Secret Angels. Little girls dream to be like them and wear their wings. They are famous, recognizable with household names; and a lot of them are married. Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima, Miranda Kerr, Doutzen Kroes, among many others have been able to perform an excellent job as Victoria’s Secret spokemodels. And they have kids. So if the top models of the world can do this, why can’t a beauty queen?
Going back to the Carola controversy, the situation caused fans on Facebook to start an online petition, which has been signed already by almost 1,000 people.
Duran has already been replaced by her 1st runner-up Dulcita Lieggi. At the moment, there’s nothing more to be done. However, a change in the pageant requirements can probably prevent this from happening again.
Not everybody agrees with change. But if rules -in the Miss Universe competition- can be bent to allow women who have transitioned, fans expect an explanation as to why, married or divorced women cannot join.