Venezuela is the country with the most beautiful women in the world. Photo: Getty Images
Venezuela is the country with the most beautiful women in the world. Photo: Getty Images

About Venezuela

Venezuela, country located at the northern end of South America. It occupies a roughly triangular area that is larger than the combined areas of France and Germany. Venezuela is bounded by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Guyana to the east, Brazil to the south, and Colombia to the southwest and west. The national capital, Caracas, is Venezuela’s primary centre of industry, commerce, education, and tourism.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Venezuela administers a number of Caribbean islands and archipelagos, among which are Margarita Island, La Blanquilla, La Tortuga, Los Roques, and Los Monjes. Since the early 19th century Venezuela has claimed jurisdiction over Guyanese territory west of the Essequibo River totaling some 53,000 square miles (137,000 square km)—nearly two-thirds of the land area of Guyana. Venezuela also has had a long dispute with Colombia over the delimitation of maritime boundaries in the Gulf of Venezuela and around the archipelago of Los Monjes.

Why is Venezuela called “The land of beauty pageants”?

Glamor, swimsuits and – national interests? The world of international beauty pageants is intriguing and so is the list of countries that have the most titles to their names. While beauty and grace are surely important in determining who ends up with the title of Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss International or Miss Earth, it also important to note which countries give out the sought-after crowns and tiaras.

Venezuela has gained the most titles in the Big Four international beauty pageants with 23 victories and outstanding record of placements at Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Earth, considered the most important pageants in the world. Under the direction of Osmel Sousa, Venezuela has accumulated more Big Four international pageant titles than any other country, including seven Miss Universe winners, six Miss World winners, eight Miss International winners and one Miss Earth winner (The other Miss Earth winner is under Sambil Model Organization).

Venezuela has won seven crowns, making it the second country with the most Miss Universe titles. In addition, Venezuela has a Guinness Record, because in 2009, Stefanía Fernández Krupij became the first and only queen to be crowned by a compatriot, that is, it was a successive triumph. Here are the names of the Venezuelan queens:

Maritza Salayero Fernández (1979)

Irene Lailín Sáez Conde (1981)

Bárbara Pérez Hernández (1986)

Yoseph Alicia Machado (1996)

Dayana Sabrina Mendoza Moncada (2008)

Stefanía Fernández Krupij (2009)

María Gabriela de Jesús Isler (2013)

Participation in international pageants

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Between 1983 and 2003, Miss Venezuela placed into the Miss Universe semi-finals each consecutive year, and placed in the top six or higher every year from 1991 to 2003. This streak was ended in 2004 when Ana Karina Áñez was not chosen as a semi-finalist at Miss Universe 2004. Venezuela has also held the Miss Universe and Miss World titles simultaneously: in 1981 with Irene Saez (Miss Universe) and Pilin Leon (Miss World).

In total, Venezuela has won over seventy international crowns under the guidance of the pageant, and the country's representatives have won at least one international title each year. It was said that Osmel Sousa would have retired from his two decades of directing the pageant after seeing a Venezuelan crown another Venezuelan as Miss Universe. Until recently, when Venezuelan Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008, crowned her compatriot Stefania Fernandez as Miss Universe 2009, no country had a back to back win in Miss Universe (Three countries have done it in Miss World: Sweden, United Kingdom and India). Venezuela also has the record of more Continental Queen Awards: 12.

Another impressive record is having a crown of one of three major pageants during consecutive years: World-International-Universe (1984, 85, 86), World-Universe-International (1995, 96, 97), and Universe-Universe-International-World (2008, 09, 10, 11). Pageant committees from Venezuela meticulously choose the best representative for international beauty pageants. It is a real fact that this country has a strong potential to compete in different prestigious beauty pageants.

In 2013 Venezuela has also held the Miss Universe and Miss Earth titles simultaneously: Gabriela Isler (Miss Universe) and Alyz Henrich (Earth). Simultaneous titles of Big 4 pageants in the same year hadn't occurred since 1981. Winning Miss Earth 2013 put Venezuela on the map of pageantry as the first country to win all the Big Four international beauty pageants more than once.

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Top 10 reasons why Venezuela has the most beauty pageant winners

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

1. Venezuelans are happy

According to the World Values Survey Venezuela is home to some of the most contented people in the world. Indeed 55 per cent of the Venezuelans questioned said they were “very happy”.

2. Venezuelans are exotic

Venezuela, which has a population of 28m, is a melting pot of different nationalities and as a result many interesting and unique offspring are reproduced. Ethic groups include Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African and indigenous and 60 per cent of the population are known as ‘Mestizo’, meaning those who are a mixture of Europeans and Amerindians.

3. Venezuelans live in a beautiful, diverse country

Venezuela – which lies at the northern extreme of South America, bordered by Colombia to the West, Brazil to the South, Guyana to the East, and the Caribbean Sea to the North – is a country of striking natural beauty, ranging from the snow-capped Andean peaks in the west, through the Amazonian jungles in the south, to the beaches of the north.

It is considered to be among the world's 18 most biodiverse countries, featuring diverse wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. Some 38 per cent of over 21,000 plant species are unique to the country while 23 per cent of reptilian and 50 per cent of amphibian species are also unique to Venezuela.

4. Venezuelans appreciate natural beauty

With all that flora and fauna – not to mention other national beauty spots like the Angel Falls, in the south – around it is little wonder that Venezuelans are keen aesthetes. Indeed Venezuela's national tree is the araguaney, whose characteristic lushness after the rainy season led novelist Rómulo Gallegos to refer to “the golden spring of the araguaneyes”.

5. Venezuelans live very near to the beach and the sea

Some 73 per cent of Venezuelans live less than 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the coastline, meaning tans, beach bodies and tousled, honeyed locks. There are 2,800 kilometres (1,740 miles) of coastline.

6. Venezuelans are Roman Catholic

Depending on which sources you use, between 92 and 96 per cent of Venezuelans are Roman Catholic. Perhaps it is the morality that the Bible offers that helps make beautiful women. I wonder what God would think about nose and boob jobs.

7. Venezuelans can bank on good weather and gain an impressive bronze tan

Because of its proximity to the Equator, Venezuela experiences few climatic variations. There are really only two seasons – dry and wet – and the average temperature is about 27C. Last one to the beach is a loser!

8. Venezuelans have a rich cultural heritage

Venezuela may have some of the largest oil reserves in the world, but it also boasts interesting heritage, art, and culture, having been heavily influenced by the Caribbean context – unlike much of the rest of South America.

9. Venezuela are named after one of the most romantic and beautiful places in the world

Venezuela owes its name to Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci. In 1499, a year after Christopher Columbus first explored the Orinoco River Delta, Vespucci sailed along the northern coast of South America (then called Tierra Firme) until he reached Lake Maracaibo. The stilted huts that indigenous people had built along the shore reminded him of the Venetian homes in his native land, so he named the land Venezuela, or "Little Venice."

10. Venezuelans are mad keen on beauty pageant competitions

So perhaps this is the most significant factor. The Miss Venezuela contest is the country’s national beauty pageant of Venezuela – and it has been held since 1952. After months of preparation and grooming, the final competition, broadcast live on television across Latin America, lasts four hours.

Thousands upon thousands of entrants apply for the pageant each year – some young women would attempt for up to five or six years consecutively trying to get one of the titles that would enable them to compete in the final pageant.

Once shortlisted for the pageant, the competitor begins an intensive training program which can last for six months. She receives coaching in speech, physical fitness, make-up, modelling, and all the other skills required for the competition. Plastic surgery and cosmetic dentistry is optional and some delegates use, ahem, padding.

There are Miss Venezuela schools and "beauty factories" in which girls as young as 5 years old are trained to be the next potential Miss Venezuela. At both the schools and factories the young girls and women are taught how to walk properly, given beauty tips, and given lessons in proper etiquette.

Once a candidate is shortlisted for the pageant, she begins an intensive training program which can last for six months. She receives coaching in speech, physical fitness, make-up, modelling, and all the other skills required for the competition. Plastic surgery and cosmetic dentistry are optional, and some delegates elect to use padding. As the Miss Venezuela broadcast lasts up to four hours long, with countless musical numbers and dances, rehearsals require weeks of preparation. Contestants also participate in official photo-shoots and also fittings by fashion designers.

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