Beauty competitions may be going out of fashion in many parts of the world, but not in Venezuela. The country has won a record seven Miss Universe and six Miss World titles.
Many young Venezuelan women see the competitions as a path to future careers in acting, journalism, even politics.
The nation’s on-going economic crisis has not diminished the appeal of the events. Contestants dream that becoming a beauty queen may lead them out of poverty. And some are prepared to make major sacrifices in difficult times, to participate.
Correspondent Stephen Gibbs has this report from Caracas.