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Racy Miss USA Photos Draw Flak

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By Audrey Barrick, Christian Post Reporter
May 13, 2010|12:37 pm

Promotional photos of Miss USA contestants clad in lingerie have irked some mothers and Christians who say the pageant has gone too far.

"I'm just so tired," Leesa Bellesi, founder of goservesomeone.org, told The Orange County Register.

"Christians and young women in general in these pageants are being asked to compromise themselves regarding modesty of any kind," she said.

Bellesi has e-mailed hundreds of people, urging them to boycott the pageant, which airs Sunday.

The Miss USA website recently posted photos of the 51 contestants, most of whom are in their 20s, posing seductively – some on beds – in lingerie, fishnet stockings and ultra high heels.

Donald Trump, who has owned The Miss USA since 1996, defended the photos and welcomed the widespread attention.

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"We are in a different age. They are a little bit sexy but I'll tell you what – everybody's watching, so I have no problems with it," he told "The Insider." "If you look at Miss America, it's now off network television – and we're doing better than ever, so I really have no problem with it."

Lark-Marie Anton from the Miss Universe Organization told E! News, "We are in the business of beauty, and the contestants who compete for the title of Miss USA are not afraid to be sexy."

While there's nothing wrong with being sexy, some say the pageant is sending the wrong message to young girls.

"You've told these girls that in order for them to be truly sexy they've got to take off their clothes," Sheryl Lee, a former Miss USA contestant, told CNN's Larry King. "We just keep sexualizing our daughters, younger and younger and it's just getting to be a bit too much."

Lee believes the racy photo shoot likely caught some of the young contestants by surprise.

"I'm certainly sure that some of those girls who have to go back to the Bible Belt and go back to the South might have a little bit of splain'n to do to their family and to their churches," she said.

Tim Winter of the Parents Television Council went as far as accusing this year’s pageant of promoting pornography.

"There has been a growing debate over the line between a beauty pageant and soft-core pornography," Winter said, according to CBS News," and I think this year's pageant not only erases that line, it obliterates it."

 

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