The modeling industry has become increasingly popular within the recent years in Singapore. This is one Asian country that distinguishes itself from others by the virtue of constant emergence and reemergence of subcultures. Fueled by formation from selective subcultures are what spurs modeling careers in Singapore and beyond. Presently, talking of modeling in this country is to refer to an independent industry in which mostly transgendered individuals comprise majority of the participants. The main reason behind it is the pursuit of economic gain, although other factors such as socialization, culture and emancipation of people regarding their sexual rights and freedom have also contributed to the intensification of the modeling industry in Singapore. With particular interest in a market that is centered on tourism, issues worth considering are the trends associated with modeling as a business in Singapore. This requires a closer look at the present in comparison to the future using additional insights from the recent past.
When you think of such great names like Victoria Street and Queen Street in the context of the 1950’s, you realize that modeling is not a new thing in Singapore. But the oldest renowned of all was Bugis Street which attracted tourists from all different parts of the world essentially for entertainment purposes. It was as early as in those days that Asian queens, or Trans women started modeling, a practice that significantly contributed to the country’s revenues. No big secret to anyone who hears about Lady Boys, the ultimate goal of this unique trade has always come true through economic gains for both the country and the models. Currently, many people have converted modeling into a market of its own, which to some extent must worry one, especially if a critical eye has to be turned on the flooding aspect of it. Consequently the original taste has dissipated and the industry is somewhat marred with abject confusion.
There is full evidence of trans women aspect of transgender in Singaporean modeling industry as the most domineering and enduring approach to modeling. Any details of trans men are yet to be fully explored and is largely ignored. Competitions such as Mister Singapore may obviously have trans men yet news covering this is slot to surface, however Miss Singapore announces openly that transgender models are welcome as of 2017. It thus follows that the market of “female” modeling is more prevalent compared to the market and economic gains that come with modeling for the “male” gender. Both naturally female models and trans women have opted for modeling, owing to the popularity of the industry. Although this is grounded upon the aspects of subcultures, it has resulted in complete mix up of the socialization patterns whereas the increase in the number of models has led to the confusion of the market even further.
Numerous platforms have cropped up gradually in the recent history, mainly for the purposes of advocating for and protecting the right of transgendered models in Singapore. Many of these organizations, some of which are operational via online processes are mainly for trans men. While Singapore is listed as one of the few countries that protect transgender rights, it thus allows these people to defend their rights for a lifestyle sex change. Names such as SgButterfly and Sisters in Solidarity do not only have a connotation of freedom of physical rights but the rights of mind as well. And all these have been as a result of the emancipation of the society on the basis of their rights. While many of these organizations pursue a higher social profile, others seek to reach out to the mainstream society.