Thursday, July 31, 2008

Good press/bad press?

I saw this article through my Google News alert this morning and was disturbed to find that instead of focusing on Leigh-Taylor's life goals, plans as Miss New York, or the Miss America pageant (these items only get a brief mention) this reporter chose to consider whether or not she has had plastic surgery. She repeatedly told the reporter that no, she hadn't. Even if she had, someone please tell me how this affects her ability to complete the duties of Miss New York and represent the state at the Miss America pageant?

This reporter opens their story with "They're spectacular, and they're real". How trashy! Why not ask Leigh-Taylor about her platform, how her experience in pageants has changed her life, or what she hopes to gain from her year as Miss New York?
From the Brooklyn paper

She’s Miss New York for ‘real’

The Brooklyn Paper

In an exclusive interview with The Brooklyn Paper, Leigh-Taylor Smith — the former Miss Brooklyn who will represent us in the Miss America pageant in January — silenced whispers about the authenticity of her most recognizable assets.

“I’ve never had cosmetic surgery,” she said. “I’m comfortable with myself the way I am.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with it, she added. “If it makes a woman — or a man — feel more comfortable with themselves, they should go ahead,” Smith said. “But I’ve never had it.”

Despite getting those accusations off her chest, the 22-year-old brunette bombshell did not fully appease skeptics.

“They too perfect,” said Peter Naas of Queens after seeing last week’s front page of The Brooklyn Paper, a collector’s edition that featured Smith in a two-piece bikini. “If she told me she could fly, I would believe her [more].”

Fellow observer Paul Walker also prefered to believe his own eyes rather than Smith’s claim.

“I’d say they’re fake,” he said.

It’s not the first time Smith has come under scrutiny for not being a real New Yorker.

The Virginia-bred vixen first took flak in February after she won the Miss Brooklyn tiara despite living in (say it ain’t so!) Manhattan.

At the time, Smith said she had strong ties to Brooklyn because she belongs to the Brooklyn Tabernacle, a Downtown church.

But now, she has a broader take on the subject.

“I’m representing a state that is certainly known as a melting pot, and I’m a part of that too,” she said.

And what could be more “New York” than coming to the city after college from another part of the country?

“She’s here living her dream to become an interior designer, and she’s here living her dream to be Miss America,” said Kimberly Thomas, executive director of the Miss Brooklyn pageant.“Isn’t that what New York is all about — moving here for greater opportunity?”

Now that Smith has put the controversies behind her, she promises that her tenure as Miss New York will be scandal-free.

“It’s about leading a respectable life,” said Smith. “You guys don’t have to worry about me.”

Smith — a University of Virginia alum who has twice volunteered in South Africa as an abstinence educator — is hoping to be crowned Miss America on a platform that calls for mandatory volunteerism for high school students.

Before the Las Vegas contest, Smith will participate in an eight-episode reality show with the 51 other Miss America contestants.

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