The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Riyadh, a popular camel beauty competition in Saudi Arabia, has disqualified 12 contestants for Botox injections after their owners were found to have used Botox to make their pouts look more alluring. The key attributes in camel beauty are considered to be delicate ears and big nose. But there are strict rules against the use of drugs in the lips, or shaved or clipped body parts.
The Guardian This year, a dozen camels were banned after a vet was caught performing plastic surgery on them. Camels were also given Botox-type injections at his clinic, according to Saudi media. “They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw,” Ali al-Mazrouei, the son of an Emirati camel breeder, told the UAE daily the National.
“It makes the head more inflated so when the camel comes it’s like, ‘Oh, look at how big that head is. It has big lips, a big nose.’”
After the ban was imposed, the chief judge of the show, Fawzan al-Madi, told Reuters: “The camel is a symbol of Saudi Arabia. We used to preserve it out of necessity, now we preserve it as a pastime.” The month-long festival is the biggest in the Gulf and involves up 30,000 camels.
The festival, which lasts for 28 days, awards around $57 million in prizes for camels based on their overall beauty, but also in subcategories including camel racing, obedience training, camel hair art, and camel photography.