Sometimes, the results are less than flattering.
From Syria's SANA news agency (h/t Soccer Dad via email):
I don't know, maybe the photo editor prefers his women to have some meat on their bones.
Election of Top Model Syria for 2008-2009Damascus,SANA _ In the festival of Top Model Syria which was held last night, Miriam Salibi, 18 years old, gained the title of Top Model Syria for 2008-2009.
The festival was held at the Princesses Palace Hotel and sponsored by Tourism Ministry in the presences of a number of artists and pressmen.
And while we are at SANA, here's a typical "culture" article from that brutal dictatorship:
The Italian singer Moraizio Tistoni gave a concert Monday evening at Abu Rumanah Cultural Center, entertaining the audience with Syrian and Palestinian songs in both English and Italian.You almost expect to read "Three audience members who did not applaud vigorously enough were arrested and shot after the show."
Tistoni sang 14 songs in the praise of Syria, its people and its leader. Among the songs were /Good Morning Syria/, /I Love Syria/ and /My Syria…Sweet Syria/.
Then again, Syria's culture includes things like this.