When you listen to “beauty pageants” you probably think of human women (and men) competing. However, some pageants on the Arabian Peninsula commemorate the beauty of the dromedary, or one-humped camel. Curiosity about camel beauty tournaments has grown since the boom of oil production during the 20th century, as camels became associated with prosperity and position.
These pageants have become massive. The lure of the glittering awards has also led to cheating. This year Earlier, 12 camels were disqualified from a camel beauty pageant in Saudi Arabia after receiving Botox treatments to improve the look of their lips and noses. So what takes its prize-winning camel? Many breeds of camels contend in pageants across the Arabian Peninsula, so they are all evaluated in a different way. I have worked with the Omani Camel Racing Federation to help develop a new scoring system, which aspires to boost fairness and transparency. A requirement of Omani beauty contests is that only pure-bred camels from Oman may participate.
Camel owners must testify under oath to the authenticity of their animals’ pedigree, or they may be banned from taking part. Local committees of experts to assess and rank the camels, that are categorized by age group after a tooth examination. Coat: a natural appearance with sparkly hair of an obviously definable color. The brighter the hair, the more beautiful the pageant entrant is known as to be.
No hair-coloring, tattooing, or other aesthetic adjustment is allowed. Neck: must be long, wide, and lean and elegant, neither full nor slim excessively. The area between your neck and the hump should be long and strong. Head: should be large, and upright as well as proportioned to all of those other body.
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Lips are out and pendulous, with top of the lip cleft being, China is visible from the front and side, and eyes are wide with long, dark lashes. Ears are long, furrowed and pricked up, and keep the fine sand out also. Hump: large and shapely in the usual position near to the back-a good posture and a huge hump may increase a camel’s chance of winning.
Pageant contestants are housed away from sunlight and fed milk, whole wheat, honey, and schedules prior to the competition. During the contest itself, some judges appointed by Omani Camel Racing Federation inspect the camels, seek advice from with one another, and rank the animals. The whole rating process is qualitative, and at no true point do the judges write a score or describe the reasoning behind their decisions. The increasing popularity of camel beauty contests has caused some dissatisfaction over the lack of a formal scoring system.
While studying the genetics of a variety of animals as diverse as crocodiles, platypuses, orgies, wild pigs, and peccaries, I agreed to undertake a task to define criteria for competitions, based on the traditional judging system. We began with a straightforward question: “What features make a camel beautiful from an Omani perspective?” We then developed a numerical rating cards to help judges explain their decisions. We determined 22-body measurements across the head, upper body, front and rear, as well as general color and appearance. Each of these is scored to provide a maximum total of 100 points.