The beauty’s in hot water again. This time, some racy photos have appeared showing Miss California contestant Carrie Prejean topless and/or semi-nude. Sources claim that the photos may have been taken when Prejean was underage, and that’s why you won’t find any of the photos — or links to them — here.
In any case, it is the latest in a string of developments in a story that shouldn’t have been a story to start with. But for the fact that so many people are talking about it there was no way to avoid it.
And since this story developed a life of its own, the double standards have been flying in all directions.
It started during the Miss USA competition. It was the time of the pageant that people watch for the same reason they watch a Nascar race on TV: they want to see the big fiery crash. The beauty pageant equivalent of a race track pileup, of course, is the question and answer segment, where, let’s face it, some girls who are more beautiful than smart struggle and babble their way through answers that generally don’t even address the questions actually asked.
Prejean was asked about her views on gay marriage. She answered honestly, saying that she felt marriage was between a man and a woman, adding that she meant no offense to anyone.
People took offense. A lot of it. An unreasonable amount of it, in fact. It was as if Prejean was suddenly given the power to decide, once and for all, whether gay marriage would be allowed to exist, and she said no, thereby dooming same-sex couples to a lifetime of “second-class citizen” status. Prejean has even said she believes she lost the competition because of her response.
Perez Hilton, who was one of the judges, went on an expletive-filled rant on his blog about Prejean. Hilton, who actually asked her the question, reportedly said on his blog that if Prejean had been named Miss USA, he would have leapt on stage and ripped the tiara from her head.
Hilton also has said that he fully expects Prejean to capitalize on the controversy:
She’ll probably cash in on this and charge a lot of money to go on the lecture circuit, might possibly write a book and may possibly use that money to get even bigger breast implants than the ones she already has.
Yes, the gloves are off in this little war. The question is, why did Hilton ask her the question to begin with? If she had said gay marriage should be accepted, he’d have been the first one glorifying her as someone worthy of being on the lecture circuit.
He asked her a question and she answered it. He should have known the job was dangerous when he picked up the microphone.
Gay groups are ticked off. And they’re digging up dirt. Hilton alluded to breast implants: pageant officials have said they paid for her implant surgery. I’m not sure why the pageant would actually admit that, but then again I guess they’re not worried about their image.
But seriously: Who is Miss California to the gay marriage debate? Really? When the dust settles, she’s an attractive 21-year-old who is apparently straight and has her own views. And her views aren’t enough to change anyone else’s mind, no matter what side of the issue they’re on.
Meanwhile, conservative groups have lauded her response as though she is the second coming. They have applauded her family-friendly beliefs and have heralded her as a hero for helping “protect” marriage. I know quite a few married couples whose relationships are strong enough that they would have survived quite well even if Prejean hadn’t taken a stand to “protect” that institution; any man and woman whose marriage would have truly been diminished if a beauty queen suggested that gays should be allowed to wed aren’t in that strong of a marriage, anyway.
But just the other night, on Greta Van Sustren’s On the Record, Prejean appeared by phone to talk about her appearance in an ad for the National Organization for Marriage. When Van Sustren asked her about her views on civil unions or gay adoption, Prejean apparently had none, following Sarah Palin’s lead with a cute little, “I’ll get back to you on that one.”
So what made the National Organization of Marriage choose her to appear in an ad? That one little answer at the pageant? Apparently, because she didn’t do them much of a favor by having no responses on equally-important family issues that are being debated.
Then there are the calls for her to be fired or step down as Miss California. A marketing expert says it’s not about her political views, but instead about the two “core values” of the Miss USA brand: diplomacy and leadership.
Hmm…doesn’t honesty have a role in there somewhere? Can you be diplomatic and a good leader if you’re not honest? Maybe for a while. I’ve worked with people like that. Sooner or later, I am happy to report, dishonesty takes ’em down every time.
And now that the news of the photos has come out, we’re headed back to full circle, with the conservative groups that made her such a hero now denouncing her for the photos that don’t depict her as “Christian enough.”
Prejean has spoken out again:
“Recently, photos taken of me as a teenager have been released surreptitiously to a tabloid Web site that openly mocks me for my Christian faith. I am not perfect, and I will never claim to be.”
Funny how the Christian groups were so quick to turn their back, just as the gay groups did when they found out what she thinks.
There’s not a lot of “loving they neighbor” going on from either side.
I guess that’s what happen when you live or die on the words of someone you hold up as an expert…who isn’t an expert on much of anything except her own opinion.
And really, is there anything she could have said that would have changed yours?