Meet the world’s most beautiful Thai ladyboy – who grew up in poverty and is now a pageant queen with more than a million Instagram followers.
Rinrada Thurapan, 20, was born a man but with her slight features and feminine face was often mistaken for a woman.
She changed to a female when she was 15 after ”spending all her time” around girls and ”admitting she was not a man”.
Rinrada’s good looks quickly made her a social media star with hundreds of thousands of followers with whom she shares glamorous pictures. She became a household name and a ”ladyboy superstar” after landing several acting and modelling jobs.
Rinrada, whose nickname is Yoshi, has now officially become the country’s most beautiful ”kathoey” – the local name for transgenders – after winning the prestigious Miss Tiffany’s Universe beauty pageant in Pattaya last Friday.
She takes home more than 350,000 baht in cash plus a new Mercedes Benz GLA and dozens of vouchers after winning the overall award, Miss Silky Skin, Miss Photogenic and the popular vote.
But Rinrada, who is studying at Bangkok University, says it is a rags to riches story after she grew up in poverty.
She said: ”My family was not born comfortably. We were poor. When I got my first pay cheque I gave it all to my parents, we always thought first about giving it to our parents.
”We were proud to give money to them to help them and go without ourselves. We did not have a lot of money but my parents taught us well.”
Rinrada says she always wanted to be a girl from a young age – but her father was disappointed because she was ”not the son he wanted.”
He was ”grumpy” and refused to talk to her. But she says there was ”no stopping her” when she began wearing women’s clothes and working in the entertainment industry.
Rinrada, who has an older brother, said: ”When I was younger I just knew that I liked to play with girls. I did not like kicking a ball or wearing the boys clothes my mother bought.
”I did not know at the time what it was but when I grew up I had to admit that I was not a man.
”My mother knew and would say often that I was girl. It was a bit different for my father. He was not happy and would not talk to me. But now he is proud of me. I am proud to be a ladyboy.
”I want to thank my parents who taught us to be good members of society. We do not have an easy time, but we can be good citizens, we can be good transgender people.”
Rinrada said she felt ”unworthy” entering the competition against 29 other contestants at first but after sleepless nights decided to ”fight to win”.
She added: ”I called my mum and said we will fight together. After that I went to the gym to get fit, started making myself more beautiful with make-up, new hair, and dressing up to look more glamorous. I studied walking and how to move like a cat walk model.”
Rinrada will now represent Thailand next year at the Miss International Queen beauty pageant, which also takes place in Pattaya, against transgender women from around the world.