Meet the Trans, Thai Media Mogul Who Wants to Reinvent the Miss Universe Pageant

Shortly after the announcement of Global JKN Group’s purchase, Jakrajutatip took the stage at the 71st Miss Universe Beauty Pageant in New Orleans in January. Describing it as a “time’s up” moment for male ownership of female empowerment competitions, Jakrajutatip, a trans woman, welcomed the new era of women owning and running it for women around the world.

Jakrajutatip is looking ahead to transform an historic institution into a more lucrative business by making significant changes to the Miss Universe pageant, aiming to create inclusive and empowering content for online hubs as well as for the fashion, skincare, and water products commercial. In the new era of Miss Universe 2023, children and divorced women will be able to enter the pageant, marking a significant departure from the past.

In the upcoming months, the association is presently getting ready for the 72nd Miss Universe competition, which will take place in El Salvador. The headquarters of MUO continue to be located in the United States, just like its experienced executive team. Jakrajutatip continues to be actively involved, revealing that she frequently stays overnight in her television studio based in Bangkok when she is not on the move, despite the growth of her business.

Some critics have argued that the pageant will continue to be sexist, misogynistic, and irrelevant regardless of its ownership, suggesting that the pageant itself is irreparable as MUO has undergone a change in ownership. On the other hand, some individuals have labeled pageants as a whole as regressive, old-fashioned, and culpable for objectifying women.

Jakrajutatip’s intention is to update the event, hoping that Formula 1 Racing or the Super Bowl will eventually gather the same viewership and enthusiasm. “That’s why we aim to make the content younger and sexier, to elevate the show and the platform,” Jakrajutatip explains. “We combine everything to make it more relevant, because people never get bored due to the evolution in representation and production.”

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According to Jakrajutatip, during the swimsuit competition, participants are actively urged to showcase their cultural identity by wearing a cape. “When we present on stage, we avoid objectifying them by emphasizing their attractiveness or allowing the audience to exploit them sexually. Instead, if you examine the underlying intention closely… They take pride in being true to themselves, displaying their well-being, and showcasing their cultural heritage beneath the cape,” he further explains.

Jakrajutatip knows that stepping into pageants can be the first stepping stones for many young hopefuls, as those documentaries that can be distributed first can be the stepping stones for her true identity. She believes that she needed something before she could step into her true identity – a platform that can lead to success and wealth, which the Miss Universe stage is literally. She believes that pageants can be a recognized globally and can eliminate the stigma and sparking for marginalized groups like trans people.

Pursuing it will be the purpose of my life and the rest of my life is dedicated to serving LGBTQ individuals. I am ready to do my part, she says, in making it a success. We can transform the world by embracing everyone and women who are transgender can also contribute to achieving this goal.

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