12 Camels Were Disqualified From This Saudi Arabian Beauty Pageant For Using Botox
“They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw."
Saudi Arabia holds a month-long camel festival every year at a permanent venue built on a desert
It takes place in Al Dhana, which is 120 kilometres from the country's capital, Riyadh.
The venue also hosts many race and show competitions, with a combined prize money of 213 million riyals (approximately RM222 million).
This year, there were around 30,000 camels competing in the festival. There's also an auction for the camels, where the best ones can fetch millions of riyals.
12 out of the 30,000 camels this year were excluded from the pageant for using botox, and officials have banned the use of botox in the festival
The disqualified camels were injected with Botox to make them look 'more handsome'.
It's not just about the height of the camels that might win them the beauty contest. A 'handsome' camel is also judged by its shape, placement of its hump and most importantly a full, droopy lip. Delicate ears are also a key element on some of the camel breeds!
With these features, a camel can become a celebrity in this multi-million dollar industry.
However, Daily Mail reported that any camels found with substances in their lips shaved, dyed in any parts or with changes from the natural form will be excluded from participating in the festival.
Some camels had to go through 'plastic surgery' before the festival started
Days before the festival began, Saudi media reported that a vet was caught performing plastic surgery on camels. Not only were they injected with botox, but they also had to go through surgery to reduce the size of their ears.
According to The National, many people disagree with this practice. A regular attendee at the festival, Ali Al Mazrouei told The National that a fine should be applied for people who are cheating the festival's organisers.
"(The cheaters) are just in the camel competition to make it more valuable," said Mr Al Mazrouei, as reported by The National.
"In camel racing, whoever is using drugs is fined about 50,000 Dirhams (approximately RM53,000) in Abu Dhabi. The fine is not yet applied for beauty camels," he added.
Although there are people who want to cheat in the camel festival, the organisers have some protocol to prevent this
Before winners of the competition are announced, camel owners must swear on the Quran about their camel's age and ownership. They are then reminded that whatever tactics employed to con the judges, God is judging them.