“No cheating allowed,” said Saudi judges overseeing the annual camel beauty contest in Saudi Arabia.
In a massive sweep, Saudi authorities have barred more than 40 camels from the beauty contest for receiving Botox injections and other artificial touch-ups.
This was reported by the US-based ABC News quoting a story from the Associated Press which in turn based its story on the state-run Saudi Press Agency today (Wednesday, December 8).
Saudi Arabia’s popular King Abdulaziz Camel Festival kicked off earlier this month.
It invites breeders of the most beautiful camels to compete for some $66 million in prize money.
The top prize is almost $32 million (no small potatoes).
How does one judge a camel’s beauty? Well, as the saying goes, ‘Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder,’ but there are certain features that enhance the beast’s beauty.
These include the shape of the camel’s head, neck, hump, dress and posture.
Size of the camel’s nose and lips also play a significant role.
The longer the nose and thicker the lips, the more beautiful the camel, just like Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS).
He has a strong competitor in the Emirati crown prince, Mohammad bin Zayed (MbZ).
Some commentators have speculated that MbS is on a tour of the UAE to compete in the camel, sorry, crown princes’ beauty pageant.
They had to determine who has a bigger nose and thicker lips. Most observers said, MbS was the clear winner!
The UAE also holds a camel beauty pageantry that coincides with the one in Saudi Arabia.
This year, judges in Saudi Arabia clamped down hard over Botox injections, face lifts and other cosmetic alterations to make the camels more attractive.
Judges at the month-long festival in the desert northeast of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, are taking a dim view of owners artificially enhancing the camels’ beauty.
One judge was quoted as saying that “our camels are not Bollywood actresses.”
He went on: “Bollywood actresses need to apply tons of makeup to look beautiful and even use breast implants to increase their bust sizes but our camels have more dignity. We will not allow such artificial means to enhance their beauty when they (the camels) have natural beauty.”
This year, authorities discovered dozens of breeders had stretched out the lips and noses of camels, used hormones to boost the beasts’ muscles, injected camels’ heads and lips with Botox to make them bigger, inflated body parts with rubber bands and used fillers to relax their faces.
The camel beauty contest is at the heart of the massive carnival, which also features camel races, sales and other festivities typically showcasing thousands of beasts of the desert.
The extravaganza seeks to preserve the camel’s role in the kingdom’s Bedouin tradition and heritage.
Camel breeding is a multimillion-dollar industry in the kingdom as well as other states in the region.
With Mohammad bin Salman’s new policy of ‘moderation’, perhaps he might consider inviting Bollywood actresses to also compete in the camel beauty pageant.
He may have to modify restrictions on make-up and use of Botox, at least for Bollywood actresses, otherwise the camels may go on strike and not participate in the beauty contest!