One Equal World

Meet Mia Hogues, Co-Star of ‘Houston Beauty’

Posted on: November 14, 2013

Earlier this month, the new reality series Houston Beauty premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). It has drama, humorous interactions between cast-mates, and Mia, a 27-year-old transgender woman.

Houston Beauty logo

Houston Beauty is a new reality TV series on OWN that portrays the life of Mia Hogues, a 27-year-old transgender woman.
Image: OWN

Houston Beauty follows the lives of students and teachers at Franklin Beauty School, one of the oldest cosmetology schools in the country. Television shows on OWN aren’t especially known for their progressive content, so many were pleased to find a lot of gender diversity and fluidity in this new series. Viewers have also fallen in love with Mia Hogues, who is being portrayed as a sort of underdog trying for the fourth time to earn her degree from Franklin.

It’s no wonder that Mia is being portrayed in this way, as the young male-to-female transgender woman has endured remarkable hardships throughout her life. After her family refused to accept her transition, Mia left home at 13, and was forced to pursue sex work as a means of survival. She muses, “What do you do when the contents of your heart conflict with the image of your physical being? How do you find a way to live a normal, safe life? My answer was hair,” of her brave decision to take control of her own life, and carve out a better future.

Because of the level of transparency on Houston Beauty, viewers are able to witness the struggles of students like Mia as they work towards earning their degrees. There are already some troubling facets of the show, such as the way that Mia and other gender non-normative characters are mis-gendered. “Ms. J,” who runs the school and is portrayed as abrasive but loving, often refers to Mia as “Ryan,” and uses male pronouns, which delegitimizes her identity. Still, Mia credits Franklin with being a safe haven that has provided her with the opportunities she has sought since leaving home at a young age.

In an interview with The Advocate, Mia said, I hope that viewers watching my story will be able to understand that I am human and no different from anyone else who has been brought into this world. We all face adversity in situations that life throws at us, but we are still one people and one existence.” The bravery demonstrated in sharing her harrowing road to self-acceptance already makes Mia an incredible role model. It’s really important that transgender men and women continue to be recognized by popular media in this way.


1 Response to "Meet Mia Hogues, Co-Star of ‘Houston Beauty’"

I have a real problem with this show I know it’s all bull but if this is truly a hair school Ms. J should be shamed of herself with her old azz listening to rumors. Corey ol’ gay wanna be thug azz wit that jacked up hairline who are you to say keep yo name out somebody mouth you ain’t nobody. And all the other students y’all mad cause y’all can’t do what Queen do get a life and the lil white boy beauty school ain’t for you it’s for people that got skills you can’t learn to do hair it’s got to be in you in to be fierce.

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