Sex, Lies and Beauty Queens

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Miss Delaware Teen USA Melissa King gave up the crown this week amid allegations that she appeared in a porn video shortly after her 18th birthday. King has still not officially acknowledged that it was her in the video. But even if it was, so what?

This is only the latest in a long line of salaciously reported beauty queen “sex scandals.” We are apparently shocked to find out that beauty queens have sex, poses for nude photos, or–god forbid–do porn.

I’m not saying that beauty queens shouldn’t be held to high standards, but isn’t it a tad hypocritical to judge women based on their sexual attractiveness while expecting them to be sexually “pure”? As Amanda Hess says at Slate:

“Beauty pageants like Miss USA peddle a particular fantasy: That of the sexy-yet-virginal girl-next door who parades around for the public in skimpy swimwear, but saves sex for that special someone. Franchise owner Donald Trump stands in as the creepy uncle, assessing contestants’ sexual attractiveness and purity.”

Are people so upset over these types of “scandals” because they still expect beauty queens to be virgins?

Or is it because beauty pageants are a product of a pre-Internet, pre-cable age, and people don’t want to associate 21st century “problems” (the lack of privacy on the Internet, the easy availability of Internet porn) with an institution that recalls a “more innocent” time?

I believe that this is a case of a 21st century woman trying to conform to the ridiculous moral standards of an outdated institution. Ms. King should not be ashamed of having done porn (assuming that is her in the video), and the American public should stop expecting beauty queens to be “pure” and untouched–such attitudes are sexist and backwards.

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