This story has it all: Botox, beauty pageants, scandal. Oh, and camels.
Yes, the subjects of this salacious international gossip are not human beauty contestants with shady morals, but camels. You know. The ones with the humps.
On Wednesday, Abu Dhabi-based paper The National reported that a dozen very pretty camels were disqualified from the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia for using too much Botox, specifically in the areas of the lips and nose. Relatable.
Judges were dismayed to find that owners of camels with particularly youthful, plump complexions had hired a plastic surgeon to inject the animals with the drug and also perform ear reduction surgeries on them. With prize money totaling over $30 million for "pageantry," it's not surprising that some handlers would want to get a hump up on the other 30,000 camel contestants.
“They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw,” Ali Al Mazrouei, the son of a top Emirati breeder, told The National. “It makes the head more inflated so when the camel comes it’s like, ‘Oh look at how big is that head is. It has big lips, a big nose.’”
But according to the BBC, it's not just a fleshy face that the judges are looking for. "Perfectly placed humps, muscular physiques and leathery mouths" are also taken into consideration.
As a safeguard against potential cheaters, the festival requires that owners must swear on the Quran about a camel's age and ownership before winners are announced. "Whatever tactics employed to con judges, owners are reminded that while breeders may be judging the camels, God is judging them," writes The National.
The festival, which first launched in 2000, also includes milk tasting and camel racing competitions.
Good luck to all.