Is it possible for a beauty pageant to be too sexy?
That's the question directed at Miss Universe these days, as the organization has posed most of its 2010 contestants in almost nothing but body paint for a new set of promotional images.
Miss USA, Rima Fakih, and Miss Trinidad and Tobago, LaToya Woods, show off these looks in the examples below:
Some think these photos go too far.
"It's alarming that this has been turned into a Playboy-esque masquerade," Angie Meyer, a former pageant employee, told Fox News. "By implementing topless photos as part of the pageant process, they're putting applicants in an extremely compromising position."
As opposed to the bathing suit and evening gown segments of the event, which place contestants in uncompromising positions and are not based on appearances?
Responded Lark-Marie Anton, vice president of marketing and public relations for the organization, to the charges of inappropriateness:
"The contestants who compete at Miss Universe are diverse, as they represent more than 82 countries around the globe. Many of their cultures embrace nudity... We feel the images captured are fashionable and cutting edge!"
The Miss Universe pageant airs on August 23. Do you think these pictures cross a line?