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How Venezuelan Traditions Work


Traditional Venezuelan Clothing and Modern Beauty Standards

Women's traditional outfits consist of long dresses with full, flowing skirts. The material is usually a floral print, reflective of the Venezuela's Spanish and Caribbean influence. The dresses, or blouses if a skirt-and-blouse combination is selected, are often worn off the shoulder or have one sleeve off the shoulder [source: Ahsan]. The outfits frequently feature ruffles, and women usually put flowers in their hair.

Tribal people have different traditional outfits, of course. Some tribal women favor shorter skirts, beads and cropped tops, for example, while the men have some variation on campesino (native Latin American who lives in a rural area) attire [source: Ahsan]. In general, though, Western styles predominate today for formal occasions.

While Venezuelans are definitely attuned to fashion, they're even more focused on physical beauty and overall appearance. For example, it's very important to Venezuelans that their contestants either win or place highly in the annual Miss World and Miss Universe pageants, and they have. Venezuelan women, in an amazing feat, have won the Miss Universe competition six times, a number only exceeded by the U.S., which has a far bigger population (312 million compared to Venezuela's 28 million) [source: Grainger]. And while the country traditionally has focused on women's beauty, an annual male beauty contest now takes place: Mr. Venezuela.

Because of their attention to beauty, Venezuelans -- both men and women -- often have plastic surgery performed. It's easy to find a plastic surgeon in the country, and banks do their part by offering inexpensive loans to have procedures done. So not surprisingly, it's no big deal to admit you've gone under the knife [source: Grainger].


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