Top ten transgendered and androgynous models that are prettier than pageant queens
Who's saying what
Trans-gendered Someone who identifies with a gender other than their biological one. So someone who was born with bits that don't match their brain.
Transvestite A person who adopts the dress and behaviour of a gender other than their biological one for reasons that are sometimes sexy, but often not, but does not primarily identify with that gender.
Cross dresser The practice of adopting the clothes of a gender other than your biological one.
Drag Adopting the characteristics of a gender other than your biological one as a form of performance.
Tranny Like the 'N-word', okay when someone who is it says it, not when they're not.
Queer The beautiful, rainbow coverall for all these things, and more.
LGBTHealth.org.au A good first port of call to find out more about this important issue.
Right, now we're done with the lecture, onto the babes:
Gone are the days when models looked like cookies cut from the same blonde, Eastern European mould. In the nineties, when the fash pack decided androgyny was cool, masculine beauties like Omahyra Mota and Kristen McMenamy hit their stride. Lately, the trend for gender bending has hit fever pitch, with designers sending an increasing number of transgendered, cross dressing and epicene models down the runway. Here are ten leggy gender-blurrers giving Jennifer Hawkins a run for her money.
1. Jenna Talackova
This week Miss Universe Canada finalist Jenna Talackova lost her bid for the beauty queen crown. The 23-year-old was disqualified from the competition after it was discovered that she is biologically male. According to a 2010 interview, Talackova has identified as a female since age 4. She began hormone therapy at 14, and underwent gender reassignment surgery at 19. Although the rules of Miss Universe stipulate that contestants must be a “naturally born female”, a Change.org petition for Talackova’s reinstatement into the competition has already drawn more than 21,000 signatures. Talackova herself took to Twitter to tell followers that she wouldn’t stand for the discrimination, and that she has plans to take legal action. Watch this space.
2. Lea T
After Riccardo Tisci, creative director of Givenchy, chose his transsexual personal assistant, Lea T, as the star of the brand’s Fall Winter 2010 campaign, the broody Brazilian's modeling career has sky-rocketed. Highlights include a LOVE magazine cover, which sees Lea T locks lips with Kate Moss, and an interview with Oprah.
3. Andrej Pejic
Pejic isn’t a girl, nor is trying to be one, but his effeminate features, and his openness about his sexuality, has led the transgendered community to claim him as their own. Last year, he graced 14 magazine covers, was the face of a Marc Jacobs line, and starred in a Dutch push up bra campaign. That’s as well as walking for heavyweight designers like John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier. Gaultier was so enamoured with Pejic that he used him in both his 2011 men's and women's wear shows. In the Gaultier men's show, a bare-chested Pejic wore a sleek black suit. In the women's show, Pejic wore the most prized piece in the collection: a couture bride's dress.
4. Valentijn de Hingh
Valentijn de Hingh has always been comfortable in front of the camera —she was discovered as an eight-year-old boy by Dutch filmmaker Hetty Niesch and filmed until the age of seventeen as part of a documentary on transgender youth. After under going gender reassignment surgery in 2007, de Hingh was scouted by a modelling agent. The willowy beauty made her runway debut in the Spring 2008 shows, walking for Maison Martin Margiela and Comme des Garcons.
5. Isis King
Isis King (formerly Darrell Walls) gained notoriety for being the first trans woman to compete on America’s Next Top Model. She’s since appeared on The Tyra Banks Show and in Seventeen and US Weekly.
6. Caroline “Tula” Cossey
English model Carolina Cossey is one of the world's most well known transsexual women. She had an extras role in the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only, which prompted tabloid News of the World to come out with a front page headline that read "James Bond Girl Was a Boy”, and was the first trans woman to pose for Playboy. She’s also modelled for Australian Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
7. Roberta Close
Roberta Close was the first pre-operative transsexual model to pose for the Brazilian edition of Playboy magazine. After undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 1989, Close posed nude for a Brazilian men's magazine called Sexy and was voted "Most Beautiful Woman in Brazil”.
8. Florencia de la V
Florencia de la V started her career in magazines before picking up a job at Buenos Aires club "Tabaris" and catching the eye of prominent television/theatre producer Gerardo Sofovich. She’s a well-known actress/model in her native Argentina, where she lives with her husband and surrogate conceived twin children.
9. Claudia Charriez
In 2008, Charriez was kicked off of America's Next Top Model and The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency TV shows. She went on to win the America's Next Top Transsexual Model contest on The Tyra Banks Show later that year.
10. Chamila Asanka
Sri Lankan model Chamila Asanka was an up-and-comer at last year’s Miss International Queen pageant, an annual transgender beauty competition held in Thailand.
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