The images are different, but the message is just the same – an unattainable standard of beauty for women no matter where you live. Here there’s an obsession with thigh gap, and in Venezuela, the inflated vision of beauty not only has women modifying their bodies with plastic surgery, but now even their store mannequins are sporting the distorted proportions.

Photo credit Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

Photo credit Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

Who’s at the head of this “ideal” beauty standard? A sad man, Osmel Sousa, the director of the Miss Venezuela pageant who happily takes credit for perpetuating the ubiquitous “Venezuelan style”, which now apparently includes cartoonish sized mammary glands.

In a video posted on the New York Times website, Mr. Sousa says, “Inner beauty doesn’t exist. That’s something that unpretty women invented to justify themselves.”

Mr. Sousa’s determined arrogance comes from his recommending a nose job for the country’s first Miss Universe over 30 years ago, which he claims is what gave her the edge to win the crown. “When there is a defect, I correct it. If it can be easily fixed with surgery, then why not do it?” Since, his focus on the physical has influenced women from all social classes to seek this “inflated” ideal under the knife. Store window displays are now following suit and their female shoppers are buying into it.

Unfortunately, the beauty business in Venezuela isn’t going Chapter 11 anytime soon. Just this past Saturday, Venezuela’s Gabriela Isler became the seventh Miss Universe win for Venezuela in the pageant’s history.

Check out the New York Times video, but be forewarned… it may induce your gag reflex.