A transgender contestant appeared for the first time on Germany's Next Top Model during the season premiere last night, becoming the country's first openly transgender woman to ever be featured as a contestant on reality TV.
Though 25-year-old Pari has achieved role model status discussing her transition with media in recent weeks before the show premiered, Top Model judges including supermodel Heidi Klum were reportedly unaware that she was transgender when she first walked the runway.
Born to Iranian parents and raised in the Netherlands, Pari told German tabloid BILD that informing people about her transition isn't her top priority because, in a perfect world, it shouldn't be.
Pari says she even waited to tell her boyfriend that she was transgender until they had been dating for two weeks. "He was a bit surprised at first, but he reacted like a true gentleman," she said.
Responding to the tabloid's invasive questions about recent surgeries she's undergone and whether she's "100% female," Pari perfectly and politely echoed the sentiments of her American sisters Laverne Cox and Janet Mock.
"I'm a woman and have, technically, always been a woman," she said. "People always want to know what is hiding in transsexual people's pants. In my opinion, that's really brash. I don't ask you what is hiding in your pants."
Though Pari's appearance on Germany's Next Top Model is a first for the country, it's not a first for the franchise. In 2008, Isis King became the first transgender woman to appear in the franchise via America's Next Top Model and later went on to compete in the American All Stars season.
In the most recent cycle, America's Next Top Model host Tyra Banks assured contestants that the show would not tolerate homophobic and transphobic contestants, chastising a male model who shaded another contestant for wearing heels.
It's still early in the season for Germany's Next Top Model, but it sounds like the same rules of decency apply. According to initial reviews, last night's premiere episode was filled with "androgynous looks" and not one disparaging remark was made.
You can check out more from Pari on Instagram:
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