Jeddah (Saudi Arabia): Getting Botox injections proved costly for these 40 beauty pageant contestants in Saudi Arabia that led to their ouster from the contest. And no these are human models, but camels!
The popular King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, which launched at the beginning of December, invites the breeders of the camels to compete for USD 66 million in prize money. According to the contest’s rules, Botox injections, face-lifts and other cosmetic alterations are not allowed. However, many breeders have been accused of following unethical practices to make their camels more likely to win, such as injecting silicone and fillers.
The month-long festival’s judges decided to extend the clampdown on artificially enhanced camels and they used “specialised and advanced” technology to detect tampering, Aljazeera reported the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) as saying on Wednesday (December 8).
Spokesman for the festival’s legal committee, Marzouk Al-Natto, was quoted by CNN and he has reportedly said that breeders who’ve tampered will have to pay fines, based on the intensity of their offence, says SPA.
After learning about the news, netizens have expressed their views. “Finally someone is doing something about the unrealistic expectations these pageants create,” a social media user tweeted. “This botox thing is getting out of hand,” another one wrote. This year, around 147 cases of tampering have been imposed on the organisers. The camels were examined physically and clinically in order to detect tampering. In Saudi culture, camels play a very significant role. These animals with hump backs are well-conditioned to the desert life.
The beauty contest for camels is an integral part of a massive carnival, which also includes camel races, sales, and other festivities. The owners of winning camels get cash prizes, and following the recognition, owners can sell the animals for higher prices. This festival is aimed at maintaining the region’s Bedouin tradition and heritage. A multimillion-dollar industry, camel breeding is extremely popular in this region.
(With Agency inputs)