Category Archives: Venezuelan Women

Venezuela’s Beauty Queen Factory

Caracas — Inside Venezuela’s Beauty Queen Machine

By Ted Rabinowitz for

Beauty queens

Last month, we brought you Alamut, the Secret (and very real, if very crumbly) City of the Assassins. This month, we move from implied violence to implied sex. We’re going to … the Secret City of Official Hotness.

Not L.A. Not Paris. Not even Rio. No, only one city in the world has ever had an actual, official Committee of Beauty. Come with us now, to that exciting land of glamour queens that is … Caracas, Venezuela.

A Matter of National Pride

Who cares about its collapsing, oil-based economy and the gradual erosion of its civil libertiesVenezuela has won more international beauty pageant titles than any other country.

And in Caracas, the capital, the citizens are so committed to the tiara and sash that pageant winners have their own Wikipedia category, and there’s a beauty salon for every two restaurants in the phone book. The store-window mannequins have nipples, and not even Hugo Chavez, el queso grande himself, dares to interrupt the Miss Venezuela pageant.

Forget the Beastmaster: Caracas’s Own “Beauty Master”

Like any decent secret city of something, Caracas has its own high lama: Osmel Sousa, head of the Miss Venezuela Organization (aka the Venezuelan Committee of Beauty) who cheerfully tells wannabes to go under the knife if they want to make it.

Thanks to Sousa, Caracas is full of insecure 20-year olds with boob jobs and the middle-aged businessmen who love them.

Beauty Basic Training

High in the hills above Caracas, Sousa’s Miss Venezuela Academy has would-be pageant winners running, hiking, lifting weights and God knows what else.

Hopeful moms send their princesses to pageant training schools like Sousa’s at the age of 7 or 8. If they win, they can look forward to careers as models, actresses, TV reporters or even politicians. If they fail, of course, they’re disposed of in the underground shark pit. Kidding, kidding.

Don’t Get Out Your Passport Just Yet …

Since the pageantistas look like this, and their boyfriends look like this, you might think Caracas would be the place to go for the world’s best hot-girlfriend ratio. But what the boyfriends lack in looks, they usually make up for in wealth, power and/or general badassery, Chavez having at least one of these attributes from what we’ve heard.

Think of it as an incentive to excellence in your own life. Or at least another reason to start your own people’s revolution.

Cuaima, definition: 1. an aggressive snake. 2. a jealous and impulsive woman

Can someone explain to me the Venzuelan concept of the cuaima? In any case, this photo depicts Snake charmer Khum Chaibuddee kissed 19 highly poisonous king cobras in an attempt to set a world record at Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Pattaya, Thailand in 2006. One by one, the cobras were released onto a stage, where the 45-year-old snake charmer kissed each beast and then moved onto the next.

Can someone explain to me the Venzuelan concept of the cuaima? In any case, this photo depicts Snake charmer Khum Chaibuddee kissed 19 highly poisonous king cobras in an attempt to set a world record at Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Pattaya, Thailand in 2006. One by one, the cobras were released onto a stage, where the 45-year-old snake charmer kissed each beast and then moved onto the next.

Before you blast me, that’s not my definition. Here it is from the Urban Dictionary:

1. cuaima
The nickname of an aggressive poisonous snake, Bothrops lanceolatus. Also, used in slang to define a very jealous and impulsive woman.

“Here comes your cuaima dude.”

2. cuaima
In Venezuela (spanish), a very poisonous snake, also the wife, the women in general.

Be careful, in this area there are “cuaimas”; How is your cuaima (your wife); The cuaimas aare heving a meeting (women are having a chat).

I actually looked it up because of a recent post by the Chica Extranjera, author of “Adventures in places I do not belong.” Her post is titled, “1950 comes to Caracas” and she writes:

I just read a book that I (wishfully) thought would be a constructive critique of cuaimas but is actually a full blown celebration of the cuaima.

If in 300 years an alien comes to Venezuela and reads this book, it will think that the life of a woman passes no further than her house, her child’s school, and her church, and that her self worth depends entirely on making her children lunch and ironing her husband’s shirts. The author forgets to feed herself breakfast while making elaborate meals for her husband and children, labels her plastic surgeon a “magical god” and seeks guidance from a priest who informs her that the habits of her egoistic and alcoholic husband are something for which she needs to “be stronger”. And that the “strong” friends she really needs are the one that also cry when she goes to them with repeated sob stories about her husband’s behavior.

The narrator’s “breakthrough” moment is when she realizes that she doesn’t need to “clean what is already clean” (como se le occure hacer eso??) and that she can, in a motion of self discovery, take a walk outside with her friend, go window shopping at the mall or go to the gym to pursue a “beauty routine”. Amazingly, even if she does not clean the house that day and pursues these “independent activities”, the house will still probably be as clean as it was yesterday, so worry not.

Throughout the book I found myself hoping for a sign that it was all a farce: that the author understood the nature of her codependent existence and wrote all that drivel as a form of mockery, or at least as the “what not to do” section of a corny advice column, or that the book was a reprinted version of the 1950 edition, but no.

I recently had a discussion with gringas and venezolanas about dating/ gender stereotypes here. Highlights:

-One friend was asked by an older woman, on three separate occasions, if her boyfriend was indeed single and not married to someone else.

-After getting a haircut, one friend was complimented that if her boyfriend was married he would leave now indeed leave his wife for her. Congratulations.
-One friend’s mother regularly tells her that if she does not stay pretty and cuidar a su novio then he will unquestionably leave her.

But alas, things are the way they are, and no point in getting pissed off about them. Off to bed.

Dating Venezuelan Girls

Venezuelan girls

Venezuelan girls

I was just browsing today and came across this website called Road Junkie Travel. It’s got blog posts by travelers from many countries, including Venezuela. You can see the Venezuela page here:

There was a funny post by a guy named Seb Kennedy about dating Venezuelan girls. Apparently there are special challenges in dating a girl who expects drama, cheating, and general bad behavior from her man. He writes:

Put simply, dating Venezuelans is great if you are after a casual fling or a holiday romance. It’s when you enter into a proper relationship when the problems and cultural differences emerge.

Venezuela is an extremely macho country and girls almost expect their men to treat them badly. They expect them to periodically leave them at home and go out drinking all night with their mates, wind up at a brothel, and come home in a mess the next day. Then they will have an insane shouting match where things get thrown about, she ends up in a huff and he goes out on the piss again. Eventually they will make up, and they will be so in love it will make you sick until the next time he goes out to screw hookers.

When a Venezuelan girl doesn’t get this from her foreign boyfriend she will be very surprised and will either ask to marry you on the spot, or spend months trying to figure out why she isn’t being taken for granted. For some girls, haranguing their boyfriends is their second favourite pastime after gossiping, so they may miss the melodrama when they date a man from a country where women expect to be treated as equals.

For a foreign woman dating a Venezuelan man the relationship works in reverse. He will most likely be unfaithful to her, but will still rely on her to perform all manner of domestic duties. She may even find him turning up unannounced at her house with a huge bag of washing and a shirt missing a couple of buttons. Any attempt to engage in a discussion regarding gender equality will fall on deaf ears and will be dismissed as foreign nonsense.

There is a thriving gay scene in Caracas, catered for by a fair selection of gay bars. If you are lucky, you will find one playing host to a karaoke show featuring drag queens and transsexuals grinding away in enormous spangley stilettos to Madonna classics and “Sobrevivire” – “I Will Survive” in Spanish. It may seem unusual to find a lively gay scene in such a macho country, and although the word “marico” (queer) is a common insult among men and even women, the attitude of straight Venezuelans to homosexuality is typically one of slight amusement or bemused indifference, rather than the jeering ridicule you may expect.

Personally I’ve never dated a Latin American woman, but I have North American friends who have, and one of the complaints I’ve  heard consistently is the cavalier attitude of the women toward keeping dates and showing up on time. Of course they expect the same thing from the man, so to me it’s miracle that anyone ever actually gets together. Or maybe they get together just long enough to do the deed, which is perhaps why I see so many single young mothers. In some cases the father drops in from time to time to visit. But I’m getting off track.

Another complaint I’ve heard is that once you get something steady going with a girl, her entire family expects you to underwrite their expenses and fund their business ventures. It seems that you do actually have to lay something out – otherwise what would be the benefit to the girl of dating you? – but you also have to know where to draw the line between being generous and being a sucker.

Have you dated a Venezuelan girl? What was the experience like for you? Share your comments.

Beauty Vs. Brains in Venezuela?

The Venezuelan Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza

The Venezuelan Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza


Venezuela has no shortage of beautiful women. One proof of that statement is the fact that the current Miss Universe is the lovely Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela. Unfortunately Miss Mendoza has reinforced the stereotype of the beautiful airhead with some recent comments.

Here’s an excerpt from Hugo Rifkind’s funny piece for the Times Online:

“Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela to her friends – has just had a marvellous holiday. “It was a loooot of fun!” she wrote, on her Miss Universe blog. “I didn’t want to leave. It was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.”

What paradise was this? Hawaii, perhaps? Koh Samui? The Bahamas? “The water in Guantánamo Bay,” she continued, “is soooo beautiful!” Oh.

“We had a wonderful time,” she adds. “This truly was a memorable trip! We also met the military dogs, and they did a very nice demonstration of their skills. We visited the detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how they recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting.” Later, they went to the beach, where Miss Universe bought a necklace made out of little bits of glass. It will remind her of Guantánamo, she sighs, for ever.”

Do read his piece, it’s hilarious. Ah, well. We don’t choose a Miss Universe for her overpowering IQ, in spite of the essay question.