Amy Polumbo, the 22-year-old beauty queen from Howell, was still holding onto her crown and her honor despite an anonymous threat – which some are calling blackmail – to publicly release certain photographs if she had not given up her title by yesterday.
Meanwhile, her lawyer, Anthony Caruso, was “working furiously” with law enforcement, he said, to find out if a crime had been committed against his client. He also was working with Facebook to see if it could help determine who might have taken photos from Polumbo’s site. He met with the state attorney general yesterday.
The genesis of this blackmail or whatever is the fantasy.
The Miss American Pageant has always been about fantasy. For a long time it claimed it celebrated the “girl next door,” while, at the same time, the linchpin of the pageant was looking at pretty ladies.
Reacting to complaints of feminists that the bathing suit competition objectified the contestants, the Pageant deemphasized the bathing suit competition.
(Speaking as a guy type person, I will say this: Damn straight Miss America objectifies the contestants. Isn’t the whole point of
beauty pageants scholarship competitions to look at good-looking young ladies? Whether or not this is a right or good thing to do is a whole nother issue. The difference between Miss American and p0rn, in my opinion, is that p0rn, at least, is honest about the objectification.)
Miss America patted itself on the back that it was presenting the vision of the All-American Girl Next Door.
Then came Hef.
He presented his own version of the Girl Next Door.
And Hef did not try to cover up his vision of the Girl Next Door with any sanctimonious hypocrisy. He said, out and out, “Looking at pretty ladies is fun.”
But the Miss American Pageant couldn’t deal with being honest. As the times changed, they continually looked for ways to prove that they were not about looking at pretty ladies.
They were about talent.
They were about causes.
They were about–oh, never mind.
So, when they discovered that certain Miss Americas were real human beings (remember Vanessa Williams? She has a star on the Walk of Fame now), they crucified them on the cross of hypocrisy. (Aside: Wonder if they are Republicans?
And now comes Miss New Jersey 2007, threatened with some kind of exposure of something if she does not release her crown.
And underlying it all is a big fiction–the big fiction that, somehow, 20 year old (or so) women in A. D. 2007 are virginal little girls in an time when, by age 20, there is, frankly, no such thing.