A day after Miss Delaware Teen USA Melissa King gave up her crown in response to a sex tape scandal, those in the pageant world weren't as angry as they were sad.
Reality star Shanna Moakler, who was Miss USA 1995 and is the current director of Nevada pageants, even praised King for her resignation.
"I think Melissa resigning is the honorable and right thing to do," Moakler told omg! in a statement. "Melissa is not the first girl to have to forfeit her crown and she is also a reminder that pageant girls are not demi gods but real girls who make real mistakes and who participate in this system to better themselves. I have seen many pageant girls fall from grace and turn it into something positive. I know Melissa will do the same."
On Wednesday, Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss Universe organization that runs that pageant, as well as the Miss Teen USA and Miss USA contests, called in to Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show and revealed that in the latest scandal for the organization, King had been advised to step down "very quickly" or face being fired. (For the record, King has denied that she's the woman in the video.)
Trump's org has faced many controversies before, and when a high-profile story – like the ones involving Carrie Prejean, Tara Conner, and others – breaks, it can be distracting, says Mackenzie Davis, Miss Maine USA 2004 and the current director of that pageant.
"It's very upsetting, and it's hard for us to deal with, because we do have girls getting ready for Miss USA [in June], and we do have young ladies out in the community doing really great things, so it takes all the attention away from them," Davis reveals. "And it's unfortunate that the media focuses on that negativity and not the positive things the girls are doing."
Davis adds that women today face "a constant pressure of trying to impress."
Keylee Sanders, Miss Teen USA 1995, who now works with pageants in three states, notes that everyone makes at least small mistakes at King’s age, 18.
She explains that navigating a world where everything on the Internet being recorded permanently increases the chances of making a misstep in public, even if it’s just a tweet. Each state has different rules about what the ladies can and can't post online, but suffice it to say that a sex tape would be frowned upon anywhere.
"When I was a title holder, there was no social media — the Internet was just getting popular — it's a completely different world [now]," Sanders explains. She says that she regularly speaks with the girls about how things in cyberspace live forever — whether posted firsthand or by a third party.
King — if that is in fact her in the clip — is learning that lesson the hard way, although she’s already up for another crown. TMZ reports that YouPorn.com has offered her $250,000 to reign as Miss YouPorn and "tour the world promoting the website."
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