A bunch of pageant camels have been disqualified from a beauty contest — and the chance to win $66 million — over elective surgeries they, the camels, actually didn’t elect to have. The Associated Press reports that judges at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Camel Festival are “escalating their clamp down on artificially enhanced camels” after “specialized and advanced” technology detected about 40 seemingly Facetuned contestants. I know what you are thinking: Hmmmm. Also, What? Indeed!
Please allow the AP to elaborate. Each year, breeders gather at the festival to show off their “most beautiful camels,” hoping to net the big prize. Breeders must rely on their camels’ distinctive and, above all, natural beauty; they are strictly barred from getting contestants face-lifts and injections, though that has not stopped some stage parents from resorting to extremes. Per the BBC, judges in this contest traditionally look for large heads, “perfectly placed humps, muscular physiques, and leathery mouths.” In a bid to meet these standards, the AP reports that “dozens of breeders 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.” Which is basically to say: the dromedary version of Instagram Face.
The festival has punished “deception in the beautification of camels” (per the AP) before, disqualifying 12 would-be queens in 2018. That probably isn’t any comfort to the glamorous disbarred camels, though.