Osmel Sousa

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Sousa and the second or maternal family name is Mancilla.
Osmel Sousa
Osmel Sousa.jpg
Born Osmel Ricardo Sousa Mancilla
(1946-09-26) September 26, 1946 (age 68)
Cienfuegos, Cuba
Occupation Pageant director

Osmel Ricardo Sousa Mancilla (born September 26, 1946 in Cienfuegos, Cuba) is a Cuban-born Venezuelan beauty pageant entrepreneur, gurú[1] and the president of the Miss Venezuela Organization. He has been called "The Czar of Beauty" for his role in producing Venezuela's large number of beauty queens.[2][3]

Formerly an advertising draftsman, Osmel Sousa joined the Venezuelan Committee of Beauty in 1969. Sousa continued working with that committee when, in 1970, Ignacio Font Coll reconstituted it as the OPPA Advertising Agency, which in turn was the predecessor of the actual Miss Venezuela Organization.[4]

In the 1970s, Osmel Sousa undertook advising selected contestants, many of whom went on to win the Miss Venezuela crown, at the same time he started designing nightgowns for most of the contestants.

In October 1981 Ignacio Font Coll died and Osmel Sousa became the president of the Miss Venezuela Organization. During his thirty year career he has been considered to be the driving force behind the large number of Miss Venezuelas who go on to become Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Earth. He has been called a Pygmalion, an artist who turns out talented and beautiful young women.[5][6] To date, Venezuela has had seven Miss Universe titleholders, six Miss World winners, six Miss International crowns, and two wins in Miss Earth, becoming the most successful pageant powerhouse in history.

In a 1997 interview with Latina magazine, Sousa described his bias against contestants with African features, saying "Black Venezuelan women are not very beautiful...Their noses are too big--no one could operate on them! Occasionally, I choose a morenita, but she has to have a white girl's features--just painted dark." [7]

In 2007, Sousa joined with Lupita Jones, a former Miss Universe (1991), and Carlos Calderón, emcee of "El Gordo y La Flaca", in judging Univision's Hispanic beauty contest Nuestra Belleza Latina.[8]


  1. ^ Ziegler, Ulf Erdmann (2001). "In the Theater of the Dolls - Venezuelan exhibition on the beauty pageant". Art in America 89 (4): 59. Archived from the original on 23 May 2006. 
  2. ^ Staff (20 October 2013). "Osmel Sousa es Reconocido en Miami (Osmel Sousa is Recognized in Miami)". El Nacional (in Spanish) (Caracas, Venezuela). Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Staff (1996). "Beauty? Forget Bangalore: Venezuela's outstanding records in Miss World and Miss Universe contests are the result of Osmel Sousa's Miss Venezuela program". The Economist 341 (7994): 40.  (30 November 1996)
  4. ^ "History of Miss Venezuela Organization". Miss Venezuela Organization. Archived from the original on 8 May 2006. 
  5. ^ Lee, Ingrid (1998). "Modern Pygmalion - Tribute to Osmel Sousa". Miss Venezuela Organization. Archived from the original on 11 June 2001. 
  6. ^ Tulio Hernandez, a noted Venezuelan sociologist, was quoted as saying that Osmel Sousa was "the Pygmalion of our national mythology" Rohter, Larry (13 August 2000). "Vanity has a high place in Venezuela" (PDF). Laredo Morning Times (Laredo, Texas). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 December 2003. 
  7. ^ Fusco, Coco (August 1997). "Escuela Miss Venezuela". Latina (in Spanish): 68. 
  8. ^ Staff (4 April 2007). "Univision Announces 12 Finalists to Compete in Nuestra Belleza Latina". Broadcast Room (BN). 

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