Venezuela’s MissFactories: Extreme Beauty
22 August 2018
For many, Miss Universe is an entertaining and captivating competition that brings out our inner patriotism for the women chosen to represent our countries. For others, it can prove to be an incredibly risky and dangerous path. As Miss Colombia’s Pauline Vega was crowned 2015 Queen, stories of pain and sacrifice from previous contestants shortly followed her parade and surfaced on the web.
In South America, the pageant dream is one that is universally shared by all young girls. In Venezuela, girls as young as five years old join the many agencies available to fulfill this dream of winning the crown for their country. Venezuela is known for their long standing and consistent wins; six crowns in Miss World, seven in Miss Universe, six Miss International and two Miss Earth crowns. But many are not aware of the extremes that their contestants were put through in order to claim their place in the competition.
These girls will do just about anything to achieve the dream. The country quite literally produces or “miss-manufacturers” beauty within their pageant girls, who work tirelessly to achieve their place in the competition.
These agencies, like Belankazar, are run by pageant pushers who constantly encourage their students to artificially reshape their face or shed weight. Everyday they inspect their girls closely for weight gain and lengthy body criticism.
12 year old girls are told to get nose jobs, 16 year olds are pressed into breast enhancements or silicone butt injections. Other types of extreme procedures are also quite horrifying, involving removal of the lower intestine to process foods faster, shaving their teeth or sewing mesh onto their tongues to only allow the digestion of liquid foods.
In Venezuela, it’s quite common for a teenager to go under the knife as a birthday gift from their parents or peers. All of these surgeries and procedures are done illegally with serious risks of death involved for these young hopeful girls. Conveniently, within the range of every beauty academy there are plentiful plastic surgery offices waiting for new students to drop by.
Venezuela’s indulgence in body modification is quite ironic considering the country’s current economic crisis, political strife and significant rampant violence. Most of the student’s who attend these agencies come from poor families, who can only afford to pay school fees and make up expenses. They depend on their children to break through into the competition financially, which places these contestants under an extreme amount of pressure.
These girls are said to work long hours at the agencies from morning till night, carrying the weight of their families and country’s expectations along with their own insecurities. The country’s obsession with doll like perfection and bringing home the crown from pageants is robbing girls of their childhood.
It should always be your choice to seek out plastic surgery, not the one of your mentors and/or peers. If you ever feel pressured into a procedure, don't go through with it or consult a professional for advice and feedback.