A 22-year-old fashion model reached the final of Miss Virtual Kazakhstan – despite being a man. Arina Aliyeva, real name Ilay Dyagilev, reached the final of the online-only competition after his photo received over 2,000 public votes. By reaching this stage, Aliyeva was crowned ‘Miss Virtual Shymkent’ – capital of the South Kazakhstan Region.
The reign was short-lived – organisers disqualified Aliyeva “for providing unreliable information about herself”. The regional title and place in the national final has been passed to Aikerim Temirkhanova, who received 1,975 votes.
Dyagilev came forward to admit he was not a woman two days after reaching the final, saying the persona of Arina Aliyeva was “a project of my team”. “Many girls think that appearance is the main thing and it is a hard job to be beautiful,” said Dyagilev. “But I argued with my friends that even a man could pass as a beautiful woman.