In beleaguered Venezuela, women use beauty pageants to flee poverty

In beleaguered Venezuela, women use beauty pageants to flee poverty

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CARACAS, Venezuela — At a small house or apartment with a dripping tin roof near Venezuela’s capital, Johandrys Colls proudly flaunts two steel crowns with synthetic gemstones and nine satin sashes won in neighborhood beauty pageants.

The 16-year-old daughter of the butcher and an instructor is pinning her hopes for the next free from poverty on a single objective: rising through the field of pageants and becoming a beauty queen that is international.

“These sashes represent a giant achievement as she pushes her long black hair from one side to another for me, ” says the skinny teen with dark brown eyes. “I accomplished the things I attempt to attain. ”

While growing concern about sexism plus the increase regarding the #MeToo motion recently led the Miss America contest to drop swimsuit tournaments and stress accomplishment that is personal in Latin America women continue steadily to flock to tournaments where visual appearance are unabashedly championed most of all.

In Venezuela, contending comes at a higher price: Elaborate sequined gowns and pricey cosmetic surgeries are out of reach for many in a nation where inflation is running into the five digits and state workers make about $3 four weeks.

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