The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, a Latin American Spanish speaking country slightly greater than twice the size of California. It is bordered by Brazil, Columbia and Guyana and has a population of about 26.5 million with the fairer sex forming more than 50% of that number. It is a country whose history has been characterized by political turmoil, dictatorial rule, military coups and frequent economic ups and downs. It is a country which remains highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for roughly 90 percent of export earnings, more than 50 percent of the federal budget revenues, and around 30 percent of GDP. It also has the least expensive petrol in the world, due to high government subsidies.
Despite all it’s problems and troubles this country has made it’s mark in the world and is known as the land having the most beautiful women in the world. It has the distinction of winning five Miss World pageant titles (the most by any country and tied with India which also has five) as well as five Miss Universe pageant titles. It is one of the few countries of the world which has a thriving beauty economy which has now become Venezuelaâ€™s second biggest industry after oil.
So how big is the Beauty Industry in Venezuela after all, let’s consider some facts.
- It is estimated that Venezuelans spend one fifth of their disposable income on beauty products, a startling statistic for a country in which 40 percent of its population lives below the poverty line.
- A study conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide a couple of years ago revealed that 65 percent of Venezuelan women think about their looks “all the time,” in contrast to the 27 percent of American women in the same category.
- Studies show that Venezuela is the largest consumer of cosmetics and personal care products per capita in the world, taking a 9.3% share of the world cosmetic market according to the Review of In-Cosmetics Industry Trends Presentations, 2004.
So while the Venezuelans like most Latin Americans are gifted with better than average looks, it is actually a combination of their natural looks, cosmetics, plastic surgery and of course their hard work which makes them look so good. And when it comes to creating a league of women who go on to win the International beauty pageants so frequently it is thanks to the determination and ambition of Osmel Sousa, the president of the Miss Venezuela Organization.
Sousa transforms pretty girls into knockout contest winners. After selecting twenty girls from over two thousand participants in a nation-wide scouting competition, he enrolls them in his academy for six months of intense training for the Miss Venezuela contest. Over the past three decades he has developed an eye that he claims can quickly pick a winner from a crowd. The girls will work with a team of professionals that will help them improve on all areas of their presentation. From the way they walk to the way they talk, after six months in Sousaâ€™s academy, they ideally will emerge as confident, eloquent, elegant women with perfect bodies and promising futures.
Sousa’s academy boasts of the countries leading plastic surgeons who help the contestants with operations such as breast augmentation, thigh lipo-sculpting, and waist reduction. The team of cosmetic dentists and dermatologists combine their efforts in perfecting the face and smile of every contestant. Then there is also a team of talented people who hone the skills of the beauties so as to improve their singing, dancing and cat-walking skills. The institute however doesn’t have any dietitians or nutritionists as the girls are often kept on unhealthy and unbalanced diets so as to achieve that perfect shape and look suited for the camera.
In-fact there is so much preparation involved in grooming the Miss Venezuela contestants that by the time the winner emerges she is almost ready to take on the contestants from the rest of the world. The Miss Venezuela contest is a matter of national pride. When a Miss makes it to the final round of the international circuit, the entire country celebrates. Just as Brazilians are fanatical about the World Cup and Americans about the Super Bowl, for Venezuelans, this is the most important event of the year. The video below shows exactly what the beauty industry in Venezuela is all about and what goes on to find the perfect Miss Venezuela.