Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Not Your Usual Beauty Pageant

Contestants on stage in the first round of the Miss Tiffany's 2015 pageant. 

Thailand is famous for its tolerance of transgendered people. "Ladyboys" or kathoey in Thai are a well documented part of Thai culture. Thailand is the center of gender reassignment surgery.

Thailand is also famous for its cabaret shows featuring transgendered performers. I've photographed a couple of them. Working within inches of the performers I could not tell they were transgendered.

One of the best known cabarets is Miss Tiffany's, in Pattaya. Every year Miss Tiffany's hosts an international pageant for women who were born male.
Contestants wait to go on stage during the pageant. 

A contestant gets help with her eyelashes. 

The first round of the pageant, for Thai contestants, was yesterday at CentralWorld, a large mall in central Bangkok. The women were primping and preening. The mall's central court was packed with spectators. 

The contestants wore white tee shirts with the Miss Tiffany's logo. There will be a swim suit pageant at the end of this month, the finals will be held in Pattaya on May 8. The international finals are usually held in December, also in Pattaya, and features contestants from around the world. 
A contestant prays before going on stage. 
She's video chatting with a friend on their smart phones. 
Contestants watch the pageant. 
Contestants on stage.

There are more photos from the pageant in my archive or available from ZUMA Press

Finally, most of the photos in my archive are available for editorial use or self fulfillment as prints. If you see something you'd like to use or just hang on the wall, click on the "Add to Cart" button and follow the onscreen prompts.