ONTD Political

Critics silenced as transgendered Calgarian wins breast implant contest

9:32 am - 07/21/2011
Three-quarters of votes were in her favour

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When the winner of the Breast Summer Contest Ever was finally announced, the attacks of even one of the harshest critics were blunted.

The prize of breast augmentation surgery initially drew the howls of protest that it objectified women and encouraged body image dissatisfaction.

A complaint was filed with the Ad Standards Council and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and the Calgary radio station that launched the contest was inundated with angry e-mails, Facebook messages and tweets.

But the winner announced Wednesday was Avery Mitchell, a transgendered contestant in the process of transforming into a woman.

She earned a whopping 76 per cent of the more than 30,000 online votes drawn by the contest that was dreamed up by AMP Radio 90.3.

"If I had been forced to vote, I probably would've voted for her," said Jennie Palmer, host of feminist talk show Yeah What She Said on CJSW.

Palmer, of course, didn't vote as she vocally opposed the contest and wrote a lengthy blog criticizing it for adding to the pressure on women to strive for perfect bodies.

She still found the reasons most of the women gave for entering the contest less than compelling, but she said Mitchell's win showed that Calgarians can be progressive.

"It says a lot about the listeners of AMP Radio, obviously they're a younger generation and they're open-minded," said Palmer.

"I still think AMP Radio is sleazy for doing it, but it turned out better than I thought."

The radio station received 600 entries and chose 10 finalists, who included a woman who was scarred as a child, another who wanted a reduction and several mothers looking to regain their pre-pregnancy figures.

"Our management went through and made sure the people had good stories and wanted it for good reasons and that there was a variety of contestants represented," said morning show host Buzz Bishop.

"We're thrilled by the level of acceptance that has been shown by the listeners of AMP Radio to support all of the contestants, and especially, to get behind Avery, who I think has so much courage to come forth and share her story."

That the winner is transgendered sends out a strong message of acceptance to the community, said Mercedes Allan, who has undergone gender reassignment surgery and writes a regular column for Gay Calgary magazine.

She said 20 or 30 years ago, Alberta was a tough place for transgendered people to come out due to fear of discrimination, but attitudes have changed.

"I believe Alberta has a reputation that it doesn't deserve," said Allan, who grew up in Edmonton and now lives in High River. "I know from my own experiences transitioning here and many of the other people I've talked to in the community, Albertans have largely been very positive."

In 2009, the province stopped funding gender reassignment surgery, sparking several human rights complaints.

Ontario reinstated funding for the surgery in 2008 following a human rights ruling.

For Mitchell, who estimates she will need at least $20,000 for gender reassignment, the money for her breasts is welcome.

"It's absolutely unbelievable," said Mitchell, 23. "It still hasn't hit me just how great of a gift this is I've been given.

"This is something I thought I'd never be able to obtain."

Mitchell is currently about seven months into hormone therapy and will need at least another year before she is ready for breasts.

She said she has been contacted by parents of youth struggling with gender identity issues, thanking her for making her own struggle public.

"It's really rough for the kids going through school because nobody has any idea what they're going through right now," said Mitchell.

"I had a lot of depression, but I also had a lot of really good friends.

"When I came out, I had to make a lot of sacrifices and I had to really prove to everybody that this was real and that I was becoming a more happy and complete person by doing it.

"This contest really helped that."


Take that, misogynist gross competition! It's amazing how this train wreck of a contest was subverted for good.
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effervescent 21st-Jul-2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
This is so awesome. It's nice to read something happy :)
fuckfrosti 21st-Jul-2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
I know right?!?! Especially when you consider how the contest started. I love that it was TOTALLY subverted for good.
popehippo 21st-Jul-2011 05:00 pm (UTC)

Happy post damn well better be happy.
fuckfrosti 21st-Jul-2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
title or description
mahasin 21st-Jul-2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
poetic_pixie_13 21st-Jul-2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
Fuck yes. Calgary, you surprise me.

mahasin 21st-Jul-2011 05:06 pm (UTC)
doe_witch 21st-Jul-2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
This made my fucking evening last night.
bowtomecha 21st-Jul-2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
It took me a minute to form an opinion on this. Its never come to mind before. I can see where both sides are coming from but if surgeries like these can help people for whatever reason then so be it.

I would say that perhaps stations with contests like this might want to offer both breast augmentation and breast reduction perhaps.
mahasin 21st-Jul-2011 05:13 pm (UTC)
I think it was, mostly from this line:

The radio station received 600 entries and chose 10 finalists, who included a woman who was scarred as a child, another who wanted a reduction and several mothers looking to regain their pre-pregnancy figures.
quemadura 21st-Jul-2011 05:33 pm (UTC)
I voted for her every day for a straight week. Tumblr did a lot of signal boosting to help Avery out, and I'm so glad she won!!!
harmonious 22nd-Jul-2011 12:46 am (UTC)
Same same same! I love Tumblr sometimes.
brewsternorth 21st-Jul-2011 05:37 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! (I got signal-boosted to this contest and duly also voted for this worthy contender.)
chaya 21st-Jul-2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
oudeteron 21st-Jul-2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
I'm happy for her, and it is pretty awesome a contest like this wound up being used for good. (The article could use a second look at the wording, especially that "transforming into". As if she's not a woman already.)
sandvich 21st-Jul-2011 05:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is awesome! ♥ I'm actually surprised that so many people voted for her, but it's a damn good surprise. I hope the rest of her hormone therapy and physical reassignment goes well!

beoweasel 21st-Jul-2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
What really surprised me, was this article appeared on FARK and the comments weren't headbashingly stupid.
skellington1 21st-Jul-2011 08:14 pm (UTC)
... wow. That adds a new level of 'surprisingly awesome' to an already surprisingly awesome thing!
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
stormqueen280 21st-Jul-2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
*nods* Big breasts can cause some evil back aches, my Mom suffers with those.
teacup_werewolf 21st-Jul-2011 06:34 pm (UTC)
Wow way to go Avery!
stormqueen280 21st-Jul-2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
I'm glad she won, so happy for her!
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