Venezuelans, known worldwide for taking their beauty pageants seriously, are making a change in this year’s contest – no measurements will be made public.
Venezuelans view any fiddling with the pageant as almost blasphemous, so deciding not to publish the measurements of the 24 contestants is deemed significant by those in the industry.
The move is an attempt to respond to criticism that the pageant is obsessed with appearances.
"A woman's beauty isn't 90, 60, 90 ... It is measured by each one's talent," Agence France Press quoted Gabriela Isler, the pageant's spokeswoman and the 2013 Miss Universe, as saying.
The Miss Venezuela pageant typically has made public each contestant’s measurements for the bust, waist and hips. Presenters usually announce their measurements to the audience as the contestants walk on stage.
This year’s pageant takes place Thursday.
The contest is one of the country’s most popular televised events – comparable to the Super Bowl, for example, in the United States – even as the country finds itself in the throes of an economic and political crisis under the administration of President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuela expects – and, has come to be expected – to win international beauty pageants, or at the very least, place among the top runners-up.
Miss Venezuela has won Miss Universe seven times, and Miss World six times, among other international contests.
The pageant, Agence France Presse noted, still will highlight the contestant’s physical attributes by showcasing them in swimsuits and evening dresses.