Caracas — Inside Venezuela’s Beauty Queen Machine
By Ted Rabinowitz for Asylum.com
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
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.