Amy Polumbo, Miss New Jersey, was reportedly being blackmailed over these photos, but decided instead to release them herself — partly because people were circulating far more explicit doctored photos purporting to be the blackmail shots. The directors of the Miss America Pageant are expected to decide today whether these photos violate the pageant’s morals clause.
The fact that this is even an issue either says a lot about how puritanical the United States still is, or how out of touch with reality the Miss America Pageant is.
Those Vanessa Williams photos that turned up some years back… okay, I can see how the Pageant had a case there. But these??
This one (click the thumbnail for a larger version)
is the only one of the lot that might legitimately bother her parents (though remember, she is 22 years old). You have to wonder whether the pageant would have even considered the matter if not for the publicity generated by the blackmail attempt.
These photos had originally been, by the way, posted on a web site that was supposed to be accessible to friends only. Just one more lesson that nothing online is private.
Update: Polumbo will remain Miss New Jersey after all.
Probably the days’s best headline comes from the Philadelphia Weekly: “Miss NJ Releases Photos; World Bored”