Miss France is in Trouble
As you may recall, I wrote previously about the Miss France 2008 pageant, which was quite an affair. Turns out the affair has turned a bit sordid, as "compromising" photos of Miss France, Valérie Begue, were published last week in a French Magazine. This stuff always comes out afterwards, since no one cares to see "compromising photos" unless they're of someone famous.
Apparently under the rules of the crown, Miss France being in compromising photos is prohibited. Which is odd because I've seen the photos on the TV and it's basically her in a bikini. I don't know what the big deal is. I mean, they had a 2-piece bathing suit competition during the pageant. Been there, seen that.
But scandal is scandal and there has been much debate about Miss Begue giving up her crown. She's apparently survived, however. The Times (UK) says:
Miss France 2008 will be allowed to keep her crown, contest organisers have said, despite a row over suggestive photographs that saw MPs, a bishop and the Minister for Overseas Territories spring to her defence. However, she will not be able to compete in the Miss World or Miss Universe contests, where she will be replaced by Miss New Caledonia.
Valérie Begue, 22, from Réunion, an overseas departement of France located in the Indian Ocean, won the beauty pageant, which is taken far more seriously in France than in many other countries, in a televised ceremony on December 8. But her reign threatened to be short-lived after a magazine published a risqué set of photographs in which she was featured lying in a crucifixion-like pose while wearing a bikini, and licking condensed milk in a suggestive manner.
The rules of the contest forbid participants appearing in nude or provocative photographs, and the head of the Miss France contest, Genevieve de Fontenay, called for Ms Begue to renounce her title. She refused, saying the three-year-old photographs were published without her consent. In the face of massive public support, the organisers later relented.
As Americans, we've already been through this with our very own trailblazer, Vanessa Williams. And as all Mormons know, thank goodness for her, since if it wasn't for those photos the very average-looking but Victorian bonnet-wearing Sharlene Wells of Utah would never have won the very next year. I still remember my mother crying when Wells was crowned, saying "They KNOW that Mormons aren't going to be involved in any scandals. They KNOW it!" They knew about scandal thanks to Vanessa Williams. Catch her every Thursday night on NBC's "Ugly Betty." Must see TV.