Uproar at Saudi Arabian camel beauty contest as contestants caught using Botox
The contest is part of a month-long festival, located on the outskirts of Riyadh, and is designed to celebrate the camel, which is considered a “symbol of Saudi Arabia,” Fawzan al-Madi, chief judge of the contest, told Reuters.
“We used to preserve it out of necessity, now we preserve it as a pastime," he added.
The camels take part in a series of races and show competitions in the hope of bagging a portion of the combined prize fund of 213 million riyals ($57 million).
In the beauty portion of the contest, judges rate the size of the animal’s lips, cheeks, head and knees while crowds of men watch from the bleachers. Any form of camel modification is strictly prohibited, however with such a substantial prize up for grabs, some contestants have resorted to extreme measures to come out on top. Including, but not limited to, the use of Botox.
"Camels that are found with drugs in the lips, shaved, dyed in any parts of the body, or with changes from natural form are not allowed [sic]," the 2017 handbook says, reports Newshub.
This year, some 300,000 people travelled to the festival which includes a petting zoo of the world’s tallest and shortest camels, a museum of life-sized sand sculptures of camels, camel milk tastings, and a planetarium showing how Arabs on camels used the stars as a guide to explore.
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