End of an Era: Venezuela's 'Beauty Czar' to Retire
Venezuela's queen maker and pageant icon, Osmel Sousa, has announced that he will retire after almost 40 years of working with the Miss Venezuela Organization. The now former president of the organization has been responsible for many successes over the years as the country's leading force in the pageant industry. Under his guidance, Venezuela has been THE powerhouse of the beauty pageant industry. During the 71 year old 'beauty czar's' time as the official president of the MVO, the country has won the Miss Universe title 5 times, Miss World 5 times and Miss International 6 times. This included Venezuela's back to to back win at Miss Universe in 2009, the first time it ever happened in this contest and a host of other titles, runner-up spots and semi-finalist placements. One of Sousa's most impressive records is the fact that his delegates only missed the cut only 5 times in 36 years.
No stranger to controversy, Sousa has hit the many times for the wrong reasons with his comments about the 'lack of beauty' of black Venezuelan women, his relentless training techniques, advocacy for 'redesigning' Venezuelan beauty queens with the help of plastic surgery and his disapproval of gay marriage rights. In 2007, Sousa joined the judging panel of the Nuestra Belleza Latina contest, an American Idol type of beauty contest for Latin women. His beauty pageant training academy has been branded a "beauty queen factory" over the years, but churning out hundreds of successful beauty queens over the decades has brought Venezuela their proud reputation as the nation with the most beautiful women on Earth.
Announcing his retirement, Sousa released the following statement, "I made many dreams, brought many triumphs and gave joy to a nation. Today I decide to retire from the presidency of the Miss Venezuela Organization through the big door, through the same door that I entered almost 40 years ago with the help of my great friend Gustavo Cisneros. I will continue fighting and working for a better country, hand in hand with God and all of you. A thousand thanks for so many joys Miss Venezuela. We will continue to see each other."
Global Beauties would like to pay tribute to the work of Osmel Sousa. Love him or loathe him, he has been a driving force in the industry for many decades and produced some of our favourite beauty queens. His departure will leave a gaping hole in the industry, but we wish him a very happy retirement!
Written for Global Beauties by Andre Sleigh / @andre.sleigh