If you’ve ever been around camels, you can’t help but notice that they have large lips, but you don’t generally get too close to them, as they have been known to bite and spit — and camel breath, well, enough said.
Camels are a big deal in Saudi Arabia, and not just for toting tourists for photo ops. There are serious camel races, for example, with millions of dollars in prizes. And, just as Americans enjoy having cattle shows at our county and state fairs, Saudi Arabians love to match their camels against each other in the looks department.
A recent event, the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Rumah, involved a reported 30,000 camels and attracted 300,000 people who attended. The festival paid out $57 million in prize money, with more than $30 million of that going to winners of a camel beauty contest, according to articles in the New York Times and the Guardian.
With that kind of money at stake, it’s not surprising that some owners would turn to cosmetic enhancement: 12 camels were disqualified because their owners had pumped up the camels’ lips with botox so they’d look bigger and more droopy. Camel noses got the treatment, too, to make their heads look bigger.
I checked on Campbell’s signature bronze camel just to be sure there’s no chance of any sports teams getting disqualified. His lips are quite demure and the lower one doesn’t droop at all, so I guess the “Fighting Camels” are good to go.