Miss Venezuela, Dayana Mendoza
For news junkies, say the word Venezuela, and one will automatically think of two things: its assertive leader Hugo Chavez who is the bane of the USA in Latin America (a role he has taken over from Fidel Castro) and of course, oil. The latter serves as Venezuela’s main industry and main source of revenue as well as contention with the outside world. Yet there is another natural resource that Venezuela has been blessed with: beauty, and more specifically beautiful women for beauty pageants.
Rory Carroll of the UK Guardian takes a look at Venezuela’s beauty industry in: No place for runners-up in land of oil and beauty. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Many ordinary Venezuelans, male and female, proudly assert that this is a land blessed with two things: oil and beautiful women. There are thousands of local beauty contests held annually in schools and villages and banks offer loans for nose jobs.
President Hugo Chávez has railed against widespread cosmetic surgery – girls as young as 15 request breast enlargements as birthday presents – and has tried to steer the country in a more socialist and less materialistic direction.
But not even the commandante criticises the pageants.