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Barbie dolls take the stage in "beauty pageant".

Summary: Venezuela may have some of the most beautiful women in the world, but the lights shone on Barbie dolls in a pageant with a difference.

Venezuela may have some of the most beautiful women in the world, but earlier the lights were shining on Barbie dolls in a pageant with a difference.

The country's Barbie fanatics gave the famous toy their own signature looks adorning them with fresh makeup, new hairstyles, shoes and accessories and stylish frocks and swimwear as their plastic dolls competed for the title of Miss Barbie Venezuela in Caracas.

This is the unique contests' fifth year and organizer Jose Ernesto Sanchez says it is a very personal experience for the competitors.

"There is something magical about the dolls. It is a sort of symbiosis between the organizer and the doll. You become something strange there and it is like your daughter, but at the same time you are you and you create its personality," Sanchez said.

Venezuela is famous in the world of beauty pageants for producing top competitors year after year and taking home more titles than any other country and for its controversial beauty pageant schools where young girls are trained to be the country's next "Miss".

"I'm not sure if this has something to do with the fact that in this country beauty contests are part of Venezuela's idiosyncrasies. The fame Venezuelan women have in the world. It could also have a positive connotation, that we hold the Guinness record, I don't know, in a lot of things," Sanchez added.

Contestants, many of them fashion designers, were vying for a spot to represent Venezuela in the top honoured Miss Barbie Universe competition and others including Miss Barbie World and Miss Barbie International.

The televised event includes contestants presenting their accessorized dolls in the show and answering questions given by a panel much like would be expected in a typical pageant contest.

Spectators took in the excitement and cheered on their favourite Barbies.

Eventually Jose Luis Rebete and his Barbie were awarded the coveted crown and the right to represent the country in the Miss Barbie Universe contest. He said the win affirmed his hard work.

"It reflects what you wanted, that the people appreciate your work, that the appreciate what you did," Rebete said.

Last year's Miss Barbie Universe winner brought the tiny crown back to Venezuela, and Rebete no doubt hopes to repeat the magic again, much like Miss Venezuelan contests at the Miss Universe pageant won back to back competitions in 2008 and 2009.

Independent Television News Limited 2010. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Geographic Code:3VENE
Date:Dec 16, 2010
Words:448
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