Carrie Prejean, Miss California
(May 2009)

If it wasn’t enough to be baited with a unfairly contentious question about gay marriage as she competed for the Miss USA title on national TV, Carrie Prejean found herself defending her crown against accusations that she had exposed her breasts in a photo shoot for the magazine “Bliss.” Since Miss USA is nothing but a glorified pin-up competition anyway, the fact that posing nude, semi-nude or in otherwise provocative poses should be a blot on any of these surgically enhanced young women’s resumes is beyond bizarre: they are selling sex, after all, not children’s books. Nonetheless, some of the Miss California people were using these old photos to argue that Prejean was unworthy of the title, when if fact, if anything, they confirm just how, uh, worthy she is. (Of course, many suspected that the real reason Prejean was under fire was her nationally-broadcast statement that marriage should be confined to unions between a man and a woman. But that is another issue.)

I suppose it may be too much to expect a Miss California to just come out and say, “Sure, I bared my perfect, alabaster breasts for the camera, and an awesome sight they were, too! So what?” But Carrie put herself in the David Manning pantheon of ridiculous liars when she claimed that the photos resulted from accidental exposure on “a windy day,” and were just spontaneous shots that she didn’t actually approve or pose for. See, Carrie, photographs can be looked at. And anyone who actually sees the photos---as part of my duties as an inquiring ethicist, I forced myself to examine them, carefully and at great length; it’s a job, dammit, and somebody has to do it--- will also see a confident, smiling young woman looking directly into the lens with a come-hither twinkle in her eye and an unbuttoned vest exposing parts of her abundant upper-assets that would get her kicked off the beaches of Cape Cod, if not Greece. Carrie’s hair isn’t blowing, either.

Carrie Prejean, in other words, was lying, just as everyone assumed when they heard the “windy day” line. It now takes its place with other great absurd and inherently unbelievable excuses, along with “wardrobe malfunction” ( Janet Jackson), “I was wearing someone else’s pants” (Lindsay Lohan), and “I didn’t inhale.”

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