Rikkie Valerie Kolle made history as the first transwoman to win the Miss Netherlands title in the 2023 competition on Sunday, July 9. The model, 22, looked beautiful and overjoyed as she won the title in a long, red dress. In a post celebrating the win, Rikkie shared that she was very excited to represent the country. “I’m so proud and happy I can’t even describe it. Making my community proud and showing it can be done,” she wrote, while thanking the judges and her fellow pageant contestants. “And yes I’m trans and I want to share my story but I’m also Rikkie and that’s what matters to me. Did this on my own and loved every moment of it.”
The victory was very exciting, and Rikkie is definitely looking forward to competing in the Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador. Find out everything you need to know about Rikkie here!
Rikkie is a model, who’s been featured on magazine covers
Like many of the women who compete in the Miss Universe pageant, Rikkie is a model, and she often shares her stunning looks on her Instagram, where she has almost 32,000 followers! She often posts photos of herself showing off different designers, and she was even featured on the cover of L’Oreal magazine in December 2020.
She’ll be the second transwoman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant
While Rikkie is the first transwoman to win the Miss Netherlands title, she’s the second to compete in the global pageant. Angela Ponce was the first transwoman to compete as Miss Spain in 2018, after the contest allowed transwomen to join in 2012. If Rikkie wins, she’ll be the first transwoman to win the Miss Universe title.
She wants to be a ‘role model’ for young women and queer people
In a statement after her win, Rikkie revealed that she hopes to inspire other people with her victory. “As Miss Netherlands 2023, I want to be a voice and role model for all young women and queer people. I know better than anyone what it’s like to feel alone and not be surrounded by only positive thoughts,” she said.
She said she became ‘stronger’ after transitioning
After her victory, Rikkie opened up about her experience as a young trans person, and how when she began her transition, she felt much more like herself. “When I was little Rik and came out as transgender, it wasn’t easy for everyone. I, too, went through it. Today, I am stronger than ever before,” she said. “With the organization behind me, I hope that ‘little Rik’ will become a story that we can leave in the past and not have to repeat on the generation of today. It is never too late and help is always ready.”
She’s Dutch and Moluccan
Rikkie’s Instagram bio says that she’s of both Dutch and Moluccan descent. While Dutch is the heritage of people from the Netherlands, Moluccans are an indigenous tribe to Eastern Indonesia and the Maluku Islands. Moluccans speak both Austronesian and Papuan.