World Peace: Fa’afafine Beauty Pageants
When the first Fa‘afafine beauty pageant took place, it was still illegal to impersonate females in public, circa the 1980s.
This law meant Fa‘afafine could be fined or imprisoned, and it wasn’t until 2013 that this Crimes Act was removed. Fa‘afafine (Sāmoa’s ʻthird gender’) is one of four genders culturally recognised in Sāmoa for over millennia.
One of the many ways the Fa‘afafine community push back against patriarchal oppressions is the annual Fa‘afafine beauty pageants - their version of ‘paradise,’ celebrating identity and providing a temporary world free of judgement and discrimination where the community can feel empowered, safe, and secure from the world's harsh realities.
The pageants have been a participatory source of inspiration for Kihara.