VIETNAM: Beautiful Bodies, Uterus Required

YVONNE EPPS WRITES – The next Vietnam beauty may be just around the corner, but the government will only except the most feminine of them all, literally.

Based off America’s Next Top Model, the fourth season of Vietnam’s Next Top Model has come under fire after advancing transgendered contestants in the auditions by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The show’s regulations, which were submitted to the Ministry, barred transgenders from entering; but production director Le Thi Quynh Trang stated that the contest was to find “natural” beauty and said the discriminatory regulations impeded that goal.

Support toward the transgender community is positive. Many industry representatives voiced the eligibility of transgendered contestants, in which a model was defined as anybody showcasing a costume and that trans individuals should have equal opportunities in entertainment. Thanks to this attitude, the social acceptance towards the LGBT community has improved. This is speculated to be due to the American version’s acceptance of all genders and the openness of other adaptations of foreign reality shows, such as Vietnam Idol and Vietnam’s Got Talent.

This attempt at a step backwards by the government is a testament to its struggle to keep the old traditions of the past. But the newer generation is leading Vietnam towards a more accepting society. There’s nothing more beautiful than that.

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