Trouble Brewing for Transgender Model in Nepal



Zenisha Tamang
Zenisha Tamang Photo Facebook

migme Mega Model is a modeling reality TV show in Nepal. The show pits a number of Nepali women against each other to win the chance at kick starting a career in Nepal’s modeling industry. After a five-year hiatus, migme Mega Model is back for the third season.

Although the auditions started in April, the filming halted after the earthquakes hit Nepal that month. Filming resumed in August, and the show is now down to the Top 12 finalists.

Touted as the most prestigious Nepali model hunt show, this season garnered international attention when Zenisha Tamang became the first transgender contestant to qualify in the audition rounds.

As the competition heats up, the models are ramping up their game in order to stay in the show. The inevitable drama between these girls are surfacing on their individual mig profiles, where they are posting comments and criticisms about each other in the hope of directing attention to themselves. Among all the girls, Zenisha (@zenishapakhrintmg) has been getting the most hate. The other contestants are jealous of Zenisha, because she is the tallest contestant (1.78m), and they think she is getting all the attention because she got the most media coverage for standing out as the first transgender contestant.

Zenisha Tamang

Zenisha Tamang

Zenisha has been very open and proud of who she is, advocating the people of Nepal to show love to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community. In fact, out of the 16 girls, she was one of the three that did the swimsuit photoshoot earlier in September. The others were not comfortable in showing skin.

In one of the latest episode, Zenisha showed off her bubbly personality by popping bubblegum, while the rest of the contestants had serious poses in their first official photo shoot of the season:

Anu Maharjan Mega Model
Anu Maharjan (@anumaharjan1020) (Photo: Image Channel)
Anugya Chand
Anugya Chand (@anugya15) (Photo: Image Channel)
Bhumika Chaudhary (@bhumi0388) (Photo: Image Channel)
Chandrika Mote (@smileykausmi11) (Photo: Image Channel)
Meera Kachhapati (@dreamcatcher46) (Photo: Image Channel)
Nikita Mahat (@nikita1133) (Photo: Image Channel)
Prarthana Thapa
Prarthana Thapa (@prarthanathapa) (Photo: Image Channel)
Rekha Singh
Rekha Singh (@renucasingh) (Photo: Image Channel)
Salina Gurung
Salina Gurung (@salina_gurung11) (Photo: Image Channel)
Shailee Manandhar (@lili8888) (Photo: Image Channel)
Sikshya Shakya
Sikshya Shakya (@sikshya46) (Photo: Image Channel)
Zenisha Bus Photoshoot
Zenisha blowing bubbles (Photo: Screenshot from Mega Model episode)

On why she did that during the shoot, she posted this on her mig profile (@zenishapakhrintmg):

Zenisha migme

However, the one that was more “appropriate” was eventually chosen.

Zenisha Tamang
Zenisha Tamang (@zenishapakhrintmg) (Photo: Image Channel)

Despite showing off her unique and fun personality during the photoshoot, Zenisha is not doing well both in the show and in the popularity rankings. In the show, she was criticized by the judges for looking too “masculine” during her walk. In terms of popularity among the fans, she has been hovering at the lower ranks, with her being ranked number 12 on the leaderboard for Week 4.

Are the people of Nepal not receptive to the idea of a transgender representing them?

Nepal is considered a conservative society. Zenisha told mig in an earlier interview that transgenders are seen as a curse, and are mostly kicked out of their own homes. She was born into an understanding family, and her friends are all supportive of her. Her family even paid for her breast implant surgery in Thailand, which cost US$2,000.

Zenisha Transgender - Mega Model
Behind the scenes of Zenisha’s makeover photoshoot (Photo: fallinangles)

At 1.78m tall, Zenisha possesses the height of a top model in Nepal. However, it does not seem to translate into success for her in the competition so far. The initial novelty of being a transgender model seems to be waning from her countrymen, despite the global support she had received at the start of the contest.

migme Mega Model Season 3 is fast gaining popularity among fans in Nepal, with the official Mega Model channel garnering over 360,000 fans. Fans sign up on the platform to interact with their favorite model, which also contributes to their popularity rankings on the weekly leaderboard.

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Joey is a content writer at migme, a social entertainment platform focused on emerging markets. He also writes about food and travel on his own blog at Beware of his self-deprecating humor.


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