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Beauty is in the eye of the camel and spider holder

In Saudi Arabia this month, more than 40 beauty contestant were sent packing from the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival for sporting Botox injections, face-lifts and other cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater artificial enhancements.

Yep, camels.

According to an Associated Press report, “Authorities discovered dozens of breeders had stretched out the lips and noses of camels, used hormones to boost the beasts’ muscles, injected camels’ heads and lips with Botox to make them bigger, inflated body parts with rubber bands and used fillers to relax their faces.”

I’d never considered the stunning good looks of dromedaries — especially those with stretched-out lips and noses. But I am guilty of performing beauty treatments on dairy cows for a decade as a 4-H kid at the Ashtabula County Fair.

We clipped cows’ hooves and buffed them with shoe polish, cleaned their ears with Q-tips, trimmed their hair with electric clippers, bathed them in baby shampoo and braided their tails to get that fluffy, curly bounce.

But never once did I inject a cow with Botox — mostly because a 10-year-old boy with a needle might poke an eye out. Also, Botox wouldn’t be invented for another 20 years after my bovine beauty days.

The most illicit enhancement I made was touching up white spots with baby powder, considered a foreign substance in those pre-Botox days. Judges disliked choking on a white blast of Johnson & Johnson when they patted a cow.

Cows and camels aren’t the only critters paraded about in beauty pageants. Dog and cat shows are commonplace.

But every year, across the pond, the British Tarantula Society hosts an annual contest that attracts thousands of attractive hairy spiders, enough to fill an arena.

Recently moulted tarantulas have the advantage since that’s when their colors are at their glossiest, brightest and most beautiful.

In our household, my wife is the expert on beauty, and never once have I heard her call a spider beautiful. I don’t think there are enough Botox injections in the world to change her mind.

In Ramygala, Lithuania, goats are bedecked in gowns and bonnets and paraded down a red carpet — unless the stubborn beasts refuse to sashay. The goats crowned most beautiful literally are crowned, with a tiara, and feast on honey and cakes. Why not pig out after the contest? They no longer have to worry about their goatly shapeliness.

During the Chitwan Elephant festival over in Nepal, pachyderms are treated to makeup, painted nails, painted tattoos, gowns and baubles for the annual elephant beauty pageant.

But it’s not all superficial. There’s an intelligence portion to the competition in which elephants discuss the dangers of Botox and express their desire for world peace. Wait, no, the intelligence test is based on how well they follow handler’s commands. I think it’s the beautiful tarantulas who beg for world peace.

The moral of the story no matter how ugly someone thinks you are, someone else believes that you are as beautiful as a fuzzy, freshly moulted tarantula, you heartbreaker. No Botox required.

Merry Christmas.

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