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BY PRITHA PAUL @ZIGGYZINA143 ON 02/07/18 AT 1:54 AM
A 22-year-old male model who managed to make it all the way to the top to secure one of the finalist spots on the online-only contest, “Miss Virtual Kazakhstan,” was disqualified by the organizers for hiding the fact that he was actually a man, posing as a woman.
After Arina Aliyeva’s photo received over 2000 public votes, he became “Miss Virtual Shymkent” — named after the capital of the South Kazakhstan Region — which meant he qualified to vie for the national title, along with other finalists, BBC reported.
However, two days after being crowned with the regional title, Aliyeva came forward to reveal he was not a woman but a man pretending to be one and that his real name was Ilay Dyagilev.
So why did Dyagilev pull such a stunt? As it turns out the young man just wanted to prove his friends wrong.
“Many girls think that appearance is the main thing and it is a hard job to be beautiful," Dyagilev said. "But I argued with my friends that even a man could pass as a beautiful woman.”
He further elaborated that donning the persona of Aliyeva was not difficult because of the nature of his profession. “I have been in the fashion world since I was 17, posing as a model and creating images,” he said. “I can transform easily and I only invited a photographer, hairstylist and makeup artist and Arina's image was ready. I was very surprised when I reached the finals.”
Dyagilev said that when he made it to the finals, he realized he had carried on his charade too long and needed to come out with the truth.
Following the revelation by Dyagilev, Aliyeva was immediately disqualified from the contest and the honor of the regional title was handed over to Aikerim Temirkhanova, an actual woman, who secured 1,975 votes.
“Providing unreliable information about herself,” was the reason the organizers disqualified Aliyeva. They refrained from commenting further on their decision.
Many Instagram users took to Aliyeva’s social media profile, expressing their reactions to the shocking discovery. While some of them did not seem to care much about the fact that the model was actually man posing as a woman, calling him better than "run-of-the-mill contestants" and "prettier than all the other girls,” others rebuked Dyagilev for disgracing the name of his country by pulling such a stunt.
“This is another chance for those who like to express their indignation at such things and say, 'You have disgraced the nation; we are not like you; shame on you',” one user commented.
There were yet others who thought that the entire case was a ruse, a cheap shot at getting publicity. "I think this is a PR thing to make people talk about this contest!" another wrote.
According to the “Miss Virtual Kazakhstan” website, the contest “became the loudest beauty contest in Kazakhstan, with a staggering scale and prize pool” when it began in 2016. The grand prize this year is a Nissan car.
“Miss Virtual Kazakhstan," finalist was disqualified by the organizers for hiding the fact that she was actually a man. In this photo, Anasah Arpon (L) receives the crown after winning the first prize in the Miss Philippino Domestic Worker beauty pageant held in Babel theatre in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Feb. 9, 2014. Photo: Getty Images/ ANWAR AMRO
In a similar instance, a Russian man named Andrey Nagorny, 20, won an online lingerie photo contest despite being a man. He entered the contest under the name Ms. Avocado after using his girlfriend's lingerie and makeup. He was stripped of his title and prize soon after organizers discovered his real identity, Oddity Central reported.
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