"We've always been the cutting edge pageant," Miss Universe President Paula Shugart told The Today Show this morning about the revealing photos it has released of this year's contestants in the Miss USA pageant.
Cutting edge, it seems, now means photos that would fit quite well in a Victoria's Secret catalog. You can see what we mean on the Miss USA website and in this clip from Today:
The pageant, as Today's Matt Laurer notes, is a co-production of Donald Trump and NBC Universal, and airs on NBC (from Las Vegas) this coming Sunday evening at 7 p.m. ET. And as Matt also says, the photos certainly have brought it (and NBC) quite a bit of attention today.
After several scandals in recent years, including a couple involving nude photos of contestants, Lauer says the pageant has now found "an officially sanctioned way to generate the same kind of buzz" that those stories created.
But pageant spokeswoman Lark-Marie Anton tells Today that "we are in the business of beauty and the contestants who compete for the title of Miss USA are not afraid to be sexy."
Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, says "I worry about the fact that these young women are held up in front of our young girls as symbols to be emulated."
What do you think?