Not the first time really
After oil, beauty queens may be Venezuela's biggest export: Women from the South American nation have captured seven Miss Universe titles and crown holders have gone on to notable careers as actresses, journalists and even presidential candidates.
When the annual Miss Venezuela pageant is aired on television, millions tune in, paralyzed in suspense as contestants parade on stage in neon-colored bikinis while their measurements are read aloud and they answer questions like how they would draw people back to the waning Roman Catholic church.
As the nation plummets into economic ruin, even more young women are holding fast to dreams of becoming beauty queens.
At a recent casting for the Nuestra Belleza Venezuela contest, a pack of teens and 20-something women donned towering heels and coated their lips in glossy pink hues before strutting in front of judges. Among them was Oxlaniela Oropeza, a law student, who said the recent Miss Venezuela scandal hadn't quashed her ambitions.