Andrea Diaz was born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela, where from the age of 12 she learned to sway her hips and glide gracefully down catwalks at a local modeling academy. Three years ago she settled down in Chile, where most of her family has also relocated. As thousands of people leave Venezuela each day to escape food shortages and an inflation rate that is expected to surpass 1 million percent, dozens of would-be beauty queens are also taking flight and finding work as models and media personalities overseas. Some are even representing their adopted homelands in international beauty pageants. Next month, Portugal will be represented at the Miss World competition in China by a former Miss Venezuela participant.
Somos lo que Queremos. Cynthia Lander Zamora. Venezuela's economic meltdown makes money worth less by the minute Sept. Miss Universe. Incidentally in the Miss World pageant shifted its pageant date from Miss venezuela latina usual November—December timeframe to September when the organization announced Poland as the competition venue. Community See all.
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- Migbelis Lynette Castellanos Romero born June 7, in Cabimas is a Venezuelan actress, tv host, model and beauty queen.
- Prominently known for his excellence in both pageantry and advertising, Sousa has been called "The Tsar of Beauty" or Impresario for his significant role in producing Venezuela's large number of beauty queens.
Andrea Diaz was born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela, where from the age of 12 she learned to sway her hips and glide gracefully down catwalks at a local modeling academy. Three years ago she settled down in Chile, where most of her family has also relocated. As thousands of people leave Venezuela each day to escape food shortages and an inflation rate that is expected to surpass 1 million percent, dozens of would-be beauty queens are also taking flight and finding work as models and media personalities overseas.
Some are even representing their adopted homelands in international beauty pageants. Next month, Portugal will be represented at the Miss World competition in China by a former Miss Venezuela participant. And the recently concluded Miss Earth Contest, held in the Philippines, featured two Venezuelan models who competed on behalf of Peru and Spain. She failed to make it into the finals but said she will now train for more pageants, where she hopes to win a crown for Peru, the country where her mother was born.
Beauty pageants are followed almost as closely as baseball in Venezuela, which has long been obsessed with glamour and good looks. The South American country is a world leader in international pageants, with seven Miss Universe crowns and six Miss World titles. While critics have described the pageants as misogynous and antiquated, they are defended by many Venezuelans who say the events have helped hundreds of women from all social classes launch careers as models, actresses, TV hosts and news presenters.
Live fashion shows have ground to a halt, TV productions have slowed down and companies such as fashion brands increasingly refrain from spending money on advertisements. The nationally televised Miss Venezuela contest chooses 24 participants each year and puts them through a grueling six-month academy that includes daily gym routines, modeling lessons and pep talks from instructors who sometimes coax their pupils into having plastic surgery.
But at least 17 members of the Miss Venezuela class of appear to be working abroad in Mexico, Colombia, Turkey and even as far away as India, according to a web search of their social media profiles.
The number of contestants working overseas is similar. Many of the Venezuelan beauty queens who have gone abroad credit their rigid preparation in Venezuela with helping them to succeed. But they also are relieved to be free of the demanding, cookie-cutter beauty standards imposed by pageant organizers at home. Diaz said that while she was still living in Venezuela, she went to a skin cleansing session that went wrong and left small scars and reddish blotches on both her cheeks. Modeling agencies in Venezuela then started to reject her.
In Chile, Diaz was able to win the national beauty contest despite the rashes, which can be easily hidden with makeup. She was able to participate because her father is Chilean. She says that she dreams of becoming a motivational speaker working with youth on self-esteem issues. Impeachment Inquiry Politics U. Sections U. Follow NBC News. Breaking News Emails Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
Venezuela's economic meltdown makes money worth less by the minute Sept. News In beleaguered Venezuela, young women use beauty pageants to escape poverty. Get a head start on the morning's top stories. Sign Up. News Venezuelan migrant exodus reaches 3 million, United Nations says. Associated Press.
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