A biologically male transgender model was crowned as ‘Miss Netherlands’ and will compete for the title of Miss Universe later this year in El Salvador.
Rikkie Kolle, a 22-year-old model, has been selected as Miss Netherlands 2023, the first biological male to win the historically female competition.
Announcing their decision, the jury said during the final according to Dutch public broadcaster NOS: “She has a rock-solid story with a clear mission… The jury is convinced that the organization (of Miss Netherlands, ed.) will be happy to work with this young woman.”
Kolle said: “I am only too happy to commit to all the little Rikkies who have to deal with rejection from their family, their transition to the person they desire to be. Help make their self-image and acceptance stronger, untouchable.
“Through my commitment and strength, I hope to bring change to society. Ultimately, it’s about being able to become who you are without issues and that that can happen when YOU want.”
The Moluccan-Dutch model previously competed in Holland’s Next Top Model reality television programme in 2018, reaching the final round of contestants. Kolle was the second transgender model to participate in the show following Loiza Lamers, who won the contest in 2015.
Kolle will be allowed to hold the title of Miss Netherlands for one year and will be entitled to compete at the Miss Universe competition in El Salvador later this year.
The model will become the second transgender contestant to take part in the international competition, following Spain’s Angela Ponce in 2018.
A man just won “Miss Netherlands” 2023.
Considering the fact that we live in a post-Truth world, I wasn’t even expecting anything else. It’s all so predictable and unoriginal at this point. pic.twitter.com/j6NKo2cCvu
— Eva Vlaardingerbroek (@EvaVlaar) July 9, 2023
The decision to elect a biological male as Miss Netherlands has drawn criticism on social media.
Dutch political commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek wrote on Twitter: “A man just won ‘Miss Netherlands’ 2023.”
“Considering the fact that we live in a post-truth world, I wasn’t even expecting anything else. It’s all so predictable and unoriginal at this point.”