In a story that must rank amongst the oddest stories of the year for westerners, Saudi authorities have been forced to act according to media in the country. Not only have dozens of camels been barred from a Saudi beauty contest over Botox, many others have faced the same fate for “artificial touch-ups”
The annual pageant, King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, is a prestigious event in Saudi Arabia, with significant prizes on offer for winners. Some $66 million is awarded to those breeders whose camels are deemed to be the best in breed.
With so much on offer, fame and money, breeders will go to any lengths to win. This year the authorities decided to put an end to the “cheating” disqualifying 40 camels that had received some cosmetic treatment.
Entrants in standard beauty competitions will recognise many of the practices including face lifts and botox injections, but perhaps what they may not recognise is the reshaping of humps, necks and posture.
Such is the scale and extent of the technology in use, judges of the month long festival in the desert northeast of the capital Riyadh have been forced to act. To counter the “cheating” the judges themselves have had to invest in some specialised and advanced technology to detect the tampering.
Amongst the findings this year, were stretched out the lips and noses, hormones to boost the beasts’ muscles, Botox injected heads and lips with Botox, inflated body parts with rubber bands and fillers to relax their faces.
The beauty contest is just one part of the festival which is designed to maintain and promote the Bedouin tradition and heritage. Activities include camel sales and dromedaries in what is a multimillion-dollar industry.
So yes it may seem odd to hear dozens of camels barred from Saudi beauty contest over Botox, but camels are serious business for Saudi’s.
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