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Tragic price paid by women for beauty obsessed Venezuela

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Uploaded on Feb 12, 2008

Beauty Obsession -Venezuela, 2002 - Osmel Sousa's quest for creating beautiful women seems to know no bounds, and it's symbolic of an obsession with beauty in Venezuela.

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Venezuela has had four Miss Universes and five Miss Worlds in the past two decades.

All came from the beauty factory run by one man - Osmel Sousa. A former artist, Sousa handpicks the contestants then moulds them to his personal idea of beauty, with liberal doses of plastic surgery and a bucketload of cash -- around $130,000 per entrant. Whatever it takes. "When I was an illustrator, I would draw a face and my client would come and say 'Oh, I don't like that nose' and with an eraser, I would erase it, blow it off and draw it again. It's the same as plastic surgery." The girls go along with it -- the promises of free plastic surgery in a country obsessed by physical appearance are too good to pass up. Winning the contest is also a way out of the poverty trap. Meanwhile Sousa's getting rich too. The annual Miss Venezuela pageant is the biggest show on television with profits to match. Too bad for those who fail the test -- like Miss Universe 1996 who committed the cardinal sin of putting on weight, or the thousands of women with botched plastic surgery jobs.

Produced by ABC Australia. Ref - 1346

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