It is a thing of past to imagine beauty queens as champions of the cause of world peace, goodwill ambassadors and above all symbols of inspiration to all. Sex scandals, cases of forgery, nudity and drug abuse are the new pursuits these beauty queens seem to be chasing.
We share some of the most controversial stories of beauty queens gone astray in the recent past:
Rima Fakih, Miss USA 2010
Rima Fakih, the first Arab-American who made history by winning the Miss USA title in the year 2010 hung her head in shame after being ordered to stand trial on a drunken driving charge in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park two years after her win. However, this was not the first time Rima found herself in a scandal. She was almost at the risk of losing her title when a website featured a 2007 'Stripper 101' online video of a pole dancing contest won by the former Miss Michigan. At that year's Miss Universe pageant Fakih's stripper pole pictures that revealed her dressed in bottom-grazing red shorts and a bra stuffed with dollar bills cost her a great deal. She was not only denied a spot in the top 15 but also blocked out of the competition held in Las Vegas.
Carrie Prejean, Miss California 2009
Touted a 'delinquent pageant queen', Carrie Prejean's 'democratic' answer to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton's question on gay marriages in every American state at the 2009 Miss USA pageant cost her the crown. 'Marriage should only be between a man and a woman' was the thought that Carrie articulated with the hope of playing it safe but Perez later commented, "She gave the worst answer in the pageant history". As if this was not enough, nude photos of Carrie as a teenager surfaced in addition to a sex tape of her performing masturbation for her boyfriend. What next? She was officially stripped off her title. In her defence, Carrie said that the photos showing her in lacy lingerie were posted as a deliberate attempt to mock her faith as a Christian and that she, as a model (where such photo shoots are part of the profession), was being unnecessarily judged on moral grounds. Later, she released her book titled, 'Still Standing: The Untold Story of My Fight against Gossip, Hate, and Political Attacks'.
Tara Connor, Miss USA 2006
The poster child of 'Controversial beauty queen ever', Tara Conner was crowned Miss USA in the year 2006 and things fell apart for her from there on. Alleged of illicit drug use, she tested positive for cocaine, earned ill repute for sneaking in nightclub guys into her apartment and kissing Miss Teen USA Katie Blair in public. Almost at the brink of being dethroned, she was allowed to retain her title on the condition that she would enter a drug rehabilitation programme.
Kumari Fulbright, 2005
She participated in the Miss Arizona beauty pageant 2005 and won a few subtitles too. In a shocking turn of events, she was later put behind bars on charges of kidnapping and armed robbery. Indicted with three men on charges of kidnapping, torturing her ex-boyfriend, robbery and acts of assault with weapon Kumari Fulbright was sentenced to two years in prison plus six years' probation.
Vanessa Williams, Miss America 1984
An infamous 'fallen' beauty queen, Vanessa Williams, the first African-American woman to win the Miss America pageant in 1984 courted controversy after nude photos of her were sold to Penthouse magazine. The 'Ugly Betty' TV star was forced to relinquish her title but nonetheless she became popular as an actor in movies and TV shows. It is believed that Vanessa has no regrets for being labelled a 'dethroned' beauty queen.
Laura Zuniga, Miss Mexico International 2009
Sharing a similar fate tale with Kumari Fulbright, Mexican beauty Laura Zuniga was detained and arrested in 2008 while traveling with guns and cash in Zapopan, Jalisco state, Mexico. Presumed to be found in company of drug dealers, she was shown to the press with unidentified suspects. She claimed her innocence stating that she was kidnapped by her drug-lord boyfriend ngel Orlando Garcia Urquiza and was not aware of his criminal activities. With her title snatched away from her, she was released from a detention center in 2009 after there was no evidence found against her in criminal activities.
Wenxia Yu, Miss World 2012
It was not even a week after the 23-year old Wenxia tasted victory at the Miss World pageant 2012 that a controversy came knocking. There were rumours that the contest was rigged and the winner pre-decided on the basis of home-country favoritism. Since it was the second win for China, critics couldn't help but sniff nepotism in the entire affair being influenced by China's hosting duties.
Source: Times of India