updated 9 Feb 2012, 12:01
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Official racy photos from Miss Universe pageant draws controversy

Topless nude photos of some contestants of the Miss Universe pageant have drawn the ire of some watchers. Some contestants posed topless with only body paint to strategically cover sensitive areas in official pageant photos.

Event planner and publicist  Angie Meyer, who has worked with the Miss Universe organisation in the past years, disagreed with the nude photos.

Miss Universe contestants'

She told Fox News: “It's alarming that this has been turned into a playboy-esque masquerade.

“When you bring nudity into the equation, the pageant no longer becomes about the entire package of brains and beauty. Rather, the focus shifts to body image. The notion that ‘beauty’ embodies absolute physical perfection is a frightening slippery slope, and quite dangerous for young women around the world to adhere to.”

However, a representative of the organisation said that the contestants have not been coerced to do the nude photos, and they could opt out if they wished to. The representative also pointed out that nudity was not an issue with a lot of the contestants due to the diverse cultures that were represented at the pageant.

Miss Lark-Marie Anton, vice-president of marketing and public relations for the pageant, told ABC news: 'I firmly believe, as a woman and as a mum... that you can be the full package."

She also pointed out that the contestants are women with careers, some as doctors or lawyers.

"I strongly feel that these girls are the full package," she said. "I believe you can be sexy and smart and edgy, and I don't think those things are mutually exclusive."

While some contestants, including Miss USA and Miss Japan, are willing to take it off for art's sake, the majority of contestants, including Miss Singapore Universe Tania Lim, have not done so.

A quick glance at the photos also showed the most of the Asian contestants, with the exception of Miss Japan, are shown in their bikinis with either body paint or none at all.

Miss Lim, who is now in Las Vegas to participate in the Miss Universe pageant to be held on Aug 23, told The New Paper: "I wouldn't have done the nude shots I am representing Singapore, coming from Asia, we tend to be more conservative."

But she mentioned that she was thankful the organisers were considerate by not enforcing it.


See our other Miss Universe stories:

Man, I feel like a woman
Miss Australia and her controversial costume
Korean beauty takes to international stage twice
Philippine beauty ejected from Miss Universe contest
Penang girls are shy


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