Thailand's Annual Thai Ladyboy Beauty Contest

Thailand's biggest annual Thai Ladyboy Beauty Contest

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It is estimated there are up to 500,000 gay Thai ladyboys in Thailand and so it is only natural that the country will host an increasingly popular annual Thai ladyboy beauty pageant.

Thailand's annual Miss Tiffany's World beauty pageant is recognised as among the finest in the world and simply the best transgender beauty pageant on the planet, some of the most beautiful Thai ladyboys (Kathoeys) in Thailand and competitors from abroad compete for the exalted title of Miss Tiffany's World

This ladyboy beauty contest began in 1997 by Tiffany's Show, Pattaya, which is the first and largest transsexuals/ transvestite cabaret show in Asia, with the goal of the beauty pageant to promote Pattaya Tourism, to create human rights awareness, and to promote a positive transvestite/ transsexual image internationally, and to raise money for charitable donation to the Royal Sponsored AIDS Foundation, through the Thai Red Cross.

It's believed that Thailand's transgender ladyboy population is up to half a million with one old Bangkok saying being that there is a ladyboy for every bus shelter in Bangkok. Since it opened 34 years ago the thousand seat capacity Tiffany's Show Pattaya has laboured long and hard not just to  entertain it's countless visitors, but to help dispel Thai cultural perceptions of ladyboys as being people with a psychological impairment.

Thailand is 95 per cent Buddhist, which is a religion that has a well-known tolerance for those that hold different views, or who act or behave differently as one of its core principals. A typical Thai perception is that Thai  ladyboys in Thai society are the reincarnated souls of former "playboys", whose punishment for breaking the hearts of countless women in the earlier existence is to return as Thailand in this life as a ladyboy.

Old Thailand expatriates believe they can easily identify a Thai ladyboy from a genuine Thai lady because of their large  hands, the size of their feet, their Adam's apple, or even their elbows, the truth is differentiating between a beauty pageant Thai ladyboy and real Thai female short of a physical examination can be impossible.

Another old Bangkok idiom, that "the very best  women in Bangkok were once boys" comes as a result that the first male-to-female sex reassignment surgery was carried out Thailand in 1972, with the country now believed to perform more sex reassignment surgeries - primary male-to-female - than any other country in the world.

While ladyboys in nearby Singapore can legally change their gender on their identity cards, no such option is made for Thailand's ladyboys, who recently were regarded as being unfit for national military service as they suffered from "mental illness". Lobbying on behalf of gay Thai ladyboys has resulted in this practice being transformed and ladyboys in Thailand up for the draft every year are now actually declined because of acquiring a "chest deformity"

Each year the Miss Tiffany Universe ladyboy pageant attracts an increasingly large audience, furthering one of its primary goals of promoting a positive transvestite/ transsexual image internationally.The initial elimination round at the beginning of  April saw 58 Thailand ladyboy hopefuls take to the stage before a panel of judges, with the field whittled down to the final 30 contestants who take part in the remainder of the Thai ladyboy pageant. And from the start of May the remaining 30 Thai ladyboys take part in a unwavering program of events both in Bangkok and Pattaya beginning at early and running throughout the day until after 10pm daily.

By far the two most highly anticipated events are the Miss Unlimited Sexy Star swimsuit competition to be held at Central Festival Pattaya Beach Mall in May along with the gala pageant event at Tiffany's Show Pattaya a couple of days later.

Comprising a full night of glamorous Thai ladyboy entertainment, the Miss Tiffany's World gala ceremony uses the vitality and glamour appropriate with an worldwide recognised beauty pageant, with musical performances and presentations by all 30 of the Thai ladyboy contestants.

In addition for that grand prize of Miss Tiffany's World, the competitors also compete for the title of Miss Congeniality, Miss Most Stylish Cocktail Dress, Miss Beautiful Complexion, Miss Nuris Skin, Miss Best Costumes, and Miss Photogenic.

The prize pool for participants in 2011 Miss Tiffany's World 2011 competition surpasses Bt1 million (about£25,000), including a Honda Jazz car and use of an apartment for one year at Woodland Hotel & Resort in Pattaya for the winner.Tickets for the gala honours evening ceremony where 30 of Thailand's most breathtaking ladyboys face the idol judges decision cost from  Bt2,500 (£50), or Bt1,500 (£30) for mezzanine seating.


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