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World - Americas

Colombian pageant finds 'beauty' in imperfections

iconTHE CONTESTANTS:
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July 7, 1999
Web posted at: 6:23 p.m. EDT (2223 GMT)

GUADUAS, Colombia -- A fit figure and a freshened face will get you nowhere in one Colombian town, except disqualified.

In Guaduas, imperfection is the most highly prized quality.

Men and women with big bellies, crooked noses, horrible teeth and hairy bodies paraded their faults before cheering spectators last weekend, vying to win the title of Colombia's "National Contest of the Ugliest."

The finalist crowned "Ugliest" took home a $200 prize plus gifts, while the second place winner earned $100. Last year's winner still prides himself on his title.

"I am very ugly, ugly, ugly. I have been known to be the ugliest in town since I won last year's contest," he said.

Organizers said the contest is not intended to offend, but to make people laugh. Alvaro Tinoco, who created the event, said he hopes the competition proves that people perceived as unattractive on the outside are usually beautiful human beings.

Reuters contributed to this report.



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