Miss USA Pageant Feels Heat over Steamy Lingerie Shoot

May 11, 2010

The Miss USA pageant is in hot water after releasing official photos of the 2010 beauty pageant contestants posing in shots some say are racier than the ones responsible for the downfall of disgraced Miss California Carrie Prejean in 2009.

This year’s batch of beauty queens took part in a raunchy bedroom-inspired photo shoot by famed photographer Fadil Berisha. The girls from all over the USA were photographed in “lacy lingerie, fishnets, smudged black eyeliner, knee-high boots, [showing] ample cleavage and plenty of bare skin.” All the women were “positioned in seductive poses on a large bed.” Two of the beauty queens, Miss Kansas and Miss Virginia, were photographed braless. Last year Carrie Prejean was embroiled in controversy after it was revealed she posed for topless photographs.

Some participating in the pageant even complained about the raciness of the photo shoot. According to Fox News, Paula Miles, the pageant state director for  South Carolina, North Carolina and Louisiana received “distressing calls from two of her pageant contestants” just prior to the shoot. She told Fox, “They happened to have gone up in the room and they saw what was taking place, and they called concerned, and my best advice to them was just to not compromise yourself. They made sure their breasts were covered and that they weren't in provocative attire. They knew that their family was going to see these. They were concerned, knowing that they had to participate in order to be competitive.”

Donald Trump, the owner of the pageant, and reps from the Miss Universe Organization defended the photo shoot saying that this year the sexier pictures were an attempt to modernize the pageant and break down the stereotyped image of the “pageant princess.” Rather, the organization says the pics present the image of “a smart, sexy, and sophisticated modern woman.”

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What do you think? Are they too sexy?

Photos: Fadil Berisha/Courtesy of the Miss Universe Organization